Human development, disparity and vulnerability: women in South Asia

By Ayesha Banu

This paper provides a literature review of intrahousehold gender disparities in South Asia. The paper draws on quantitative and qualitative research focusing on three countries—Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka—as well as Pakistan to a lesser extent. The paper captures the disparities within households between men and women as well as boys and girls. It also examines the short- and long-term impacts of these disparities on intragenerational and intergenerational inequalities, and differences of capabilities and opportunities among genders. The main areas of exploration are inequalities in health, education and work. The paper concludes with a selection of policy recommendations, actions and lessons learned from the region that can help close gender gaps based on household inequalities.