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2020 | OriginalPaper | Chapter

2. Climate Change, Disease and Gender Gaps in Human Capital Investment

Authors : Belinda Archibong, Francis Annan

Published in: Women and Sustainable Human Development

Publisher: Springer International Publishing

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Abstract

The goal of this chapter is to examine the role of climate-induced disease in widening the gender gap in human capital investment. This chapter reviews the literature on climate change, disease and gender gaps, and highlights evidence from a particular disease context—the meningitis belt in sub-Saharan Africa. It provides evidence that changes in the seasonal climate, through the dry season or Harmattan period, are strongly associated with meningitis epidemics in the region. It discusses results from research on the role of Niger’s 1986 meningitis epidemic in reducing girls’ education relative to boys. It highlights the income effects of the epidemic and, specifically, early marriage of girls in exchange for a bride price as a primary mechanism driving the results. The findings underline the need for more research on the interaction between climate change, health and education and gender equality, all major parts of the Sustainable Development Goals.
Appendix
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Footnotes
1
With details provided in the appendix.
 
3
Where epidemics are defined in the SSA context as greater than 100 cases per 100,000 population nationally within a year by the World Health Organization (WHO) (LaForce et al. 2009).
 
6
In contrast with the dowry system prevalent in India where the direction of payments goes from the bride’s family to the groom’s family.
 
7
Given strong positive associations between education and age at first marriage (Archibong and Annan 2018).
 
8
Though there is no sub-national record of epidemics available prior to 1986, historical records suggest that the last epidemic prior to 1986 occurred in 1979 in Niger (Yaka et al. 2008; Broome et al. 1983).
 
9
Calculated from WHO data.
 
10
With most migration consisting of young male seasonal migrants in the northern desert regions, travelling internationally to neighbouring countries for work during dry months (Afifi 2011).
 
11
Source: Author’s estimates from DHS data.
 
12
Niger is 98% Muslim, over 50% Hausa and has a majority poor, agricultural population. Source: US Department of State, CIA.
 
13
Source: UNICEF statistics.
 
14
MERRA-2 is an atmospheric reanalysis data product that assimilates historical observation data over an extended period. https://​disc.​sci.​gsfc.​nasa.​gov/​datasets.
 
15
Relative to the unconditional and conditional mean years of education respectively.
 
16
Hartmann-Mahmud (2011) documents this phenomenon in her case study research interviewing Nigerien women.
 
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Metadata
Title
Climate Change, Disease and Gender Gaps in Human Capital Investment
Authors
Belinda Archibong
Francis Annan
Copyright Year
2020
Publisher
Springer International Publishing
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-14935-2_2

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