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Mother‘s Empowerment and Child Malnutrition: Evidence from Pakistan

Jamal, Haroon (2018): Mother‘s Empowerment and Child Malnutrition: Evidence from Pakistan.

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The objective of this paper is to explore the relationship between mothers’ socioeconomic empowerment and malnutrition of children under age five in the context of Pakistan. At the first step, a composite empowerment index is developed by incorporating various characteristics of mothers; such as educational attainment, labor force participation, involvement in household decisions, asset ownership, freedom of movement and perceptions regarding domestic violence. Instead of using additive methods or assigning subjective weights to different aspects of mothers’ empowerment, statistical weights,derived though Principal Component Analysis technique are applied. Nationally representative rich data of Pakistan Demographic and Health Survey 2012-13 is used to quantify the nature and direction of relationship between empowerment and child malnutrition in terms of stunting, wasting and underweights in a multivariate logistic regression framework.The estimated results indicate that empowerment is relatively more important than mothers’ health and household poverty in determining nutritional status of children.

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