Procurement for Empowerment: The Impact of Female Decision-Makers in Reproductive Health Supply Chains

Zoom Research Seminar / GF Forum

Past event — 19 June 2024

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Dwaipayan Roy

assistant professor of business administration at the University of Virginia Darden School of Business

Co-author: Amir Karimi - assistant professor at the University of Texas in San Antonio.


Access to contraceptives empowers women to not only exercise their reproductive rights and avert unintended pregnancies, but also to prevent a spectrum of adverse societal and health outcomes (e.g., unfulfilled career aspirations, unsafe abortions, maternal deaths.) However, in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), where resources are limited and women are under-represented as decision-makers in national governments, reproductive health has not traditionally been prioritized. Motivated by past research showing that female decision-makers tend to prioritize issues in ways that align more closely with women’s needs and preferences, we examine the relationship between female decision-makers in national governments and contraceptive procurement. Specifically, we focus on female decision-makers at two levels, as health ministers and parliamentarians, and examine their impact on the procurement quantity of contraceptives by LMICs. Our empirical analysis, based on a comprehensive compilation of data across six distinct sources, shows that a female (vs. male) health minister is associated with an average 66% increase in the procurement quantity of contraceptives. Notably, this relationship is strengthened with an increase in the proportion of female representatives in national parliaments. Together, these findings demonstrate that female (vs. male) decision-makers exhibit greater commitment to contraceptive procurement, an issue that has a disproportionate impact on women’s health and well-being. As ensuring good health and well-being for all and increasing gender parity in leadership positions are two of the key United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, our study on examining the relationship between female decision-makers and contraceptive procurement constitutes a timely and consequential line of inquiry.


Dwaipayan (Dwai) Roy is an assistant professor of business administration at the University of Virginia Darden School of Business. Dwai’s research focuses on socially responsible operations, with a strong emphasis on diversity and inclusion in supply chains. He aims to blend theory and practice to explore opportunities for including traditionally underserved communities in supply chains. Using an interdisciplinary approach, his work seeks to uncover novel insights into how organizations design and sustain inclusive supply chains. Dwai’s research has been published in peer-reviewed academic journals such as Manufacturing and Service Operations Management, Production and Operations Management, and Data and Policy, and in practitioner outlets like Harvard Business Review.  

At Darden, Dwai teaches the core operations management course and an elective course on strategic sourcing in the full-time residential MBA program. He is also the Vice-President of the INFORMS PRIDE forum, a community for LGBTQ-identifying INFORMS members and their allies.

Prior to joining Darden, Dwai obtained his PhD in supply chain and operations management from Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota. He previously worked as a project manager with The Royal Bank of Scotland. Outside of work, his interests include cooking, hiking and catching up on lost sleep.


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Ekaterina Neigum

Team Assistant (Resident Faculty)