ABSTRACTBackgroundFew studies have examined the influence of women's participation in farmer groups on female and male empowerment, which is considered essential to improving nutrition.ObjectivesThe study aimed to 1) assess the empowerment of Ghanaian women farmers, 1 adult male family decision-maker per household, and the household gender equality; and 2) investigate the relation of empowerment and household gender equality with women's participation in farmer-based organizations (FBOs), women's and men's nutritional status, and household food security.MethodsA cross-sectional study investigated secondary outcomes using baseline data from a nutrition-sensitive agriculture intervention implemented through FBOs in rural Ghana. Existing FBOs in 8 communities were selected based on 6 criteria (e.g., participation level, readiness to change). Female FBO (n = 166) and non-FBO (n = 164) members together with a male family member (n = 205) provided data on individual and household characteristics; empowerment was measured across 11 indicators with the project-level Women's Empowerment in Agriculture Index. Generalized linear mixed models tested the associations of empowerment and household gender equality with FBO membership, nutritional status, and household food security.ResultsWomen's FBO membership was associated with an increased likelihood of women's empowerment [adjusted odds ratio (aOR): 3.25; 95% CI: 1.97, 5.33] and household gender parity (aOR: 2.82; 95% CI: 1.39, 5.84) but not men's empowerment. Household food insecurity, but not nutritional status, was positively associated with women's FBO participation and individual empowerment indicators (financial services). Food insecurity was negatively associated with the women's empowerment indicator related to attitudes about domestic violence [adjusted β coefficient (aβ): −0.78; 95% CI: −1.35, −0.21] and men's overall empowerment (aβ: −0.79; 95% CI: −1.58, −0.01).ConclusionsUnderstanding the complexity in which FBO participation, empowerment, nutritional status, and food security are linked is critical in designing interventions that promote gender equality and improved nutrition.This trial was registered at clinicaltrials.gov as NCT03869853.

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