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Empowering Women and Catalyzing Markets to Improve Nutrition


  • The Activity is improving dietary and WASH practices in Bangladesh.
  • The Activity is integrating social and behavior change and market systems development approaches to catalyze food and WASH market systems.
  • The goal is to use gender equality, social inclusion, climate-smart technologies, and private sector engagement to improve nutrition.
The Challenge

What influences a women’s ability to provide a balanced diet for herself and her household? In Bangladesh, the complex food system involves agriculture and non-agriculture market actors who affect food availability, access, utilization, and stability. Simultaneously, there are social and cultural barriers at the household and community level that limit women’s ability to make food and WASH choices. This lack of market access and women’s empowerment have enormous impacts on vulnerable populations such as children under five, pregnant and lactating women, and adolescents (10-18 years old).

The Approach

Feed the Future Bangladesh Nutrition Activity aims to:

  • Improve the consumption of nutritious, diverse, safe, and balanced diets by households;
  • Increase the social and economic empowerment of women and social empowerment of adolescents
  • Increase adoption of improved water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) practices

We’re integrating a strong focus on gender equality and social inclusion (GESI) across all three result areas, because achieving improvements in all three result areas is necessary to positively affect nutritional outcomes. By working in partnership with communities and the private sector, our unique approach integrates social and behavior change (SBC) and market development to catalyze sustainable improvements in nutrition and WASH.

The Results

By the end of the Activity, community structures and market actors in all the 23 districts of the Feed the Future Zone of Influence (ZoI) and Zone of Resilience (ZoR) will have worked collaboratively with the Activity. Households will have adopted improved behaviors related to the consumption of safe and nutritious foods, and WASH practices. Businesses will have established new ways of earning income by offering customers nutritious foods. Integrating these changes will synergize and sustain nutritional improvements for the Activity’s target populations.

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