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Nutrition, Religion and Widowhood in Nigeria
Authors: Annamaria Milazzo, and Dominique van de Walle
Source: Economic Development and Cultural Change, Published onlion; DOI: 10.1086/704159
Topic(s): Body Mass Index (BMI)
Women's status
Country: Africa
Published: APR 2019
Abstract: Muslim women have appreciably lower nutritional status than Christians in Nigeria. This difference is explained by covariates. On accounting for those covariates, Muslim widows enjoy higher nutritional status than Christian widows, particularly in rural areas. The patterns are robust to including village effects and confirmed for mixed-religion ethnic groups. The data are consistent with more favorable processes following widowhood among Muslims, namely inheritance practices and remarriage options. Muslim widows are less likely to be dispossessed of property or to be mistreated by in-laws. Muslim women are more likely to be chronically undernourished but less nutritionally vulnerable to this marital shock.