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Associations between women’s empowerment and children’s health status in Ethiopia

Solomon Kibret Abreha, Solomon Zena Walelign and Yacob Abrehe Zereyesus

PLOS ONE, 2020, vol. 15, issue 7, 1-24

Abstract: Although women’s empowerment has gained attention over the last two decades, our understanding of the associations between different dimensions of women’s empowerment and different children’s health outcomes is limited. This study aims to measure the extent of women’s empowerment and to examine its associations with the children's health status in Ethiopia. Data were obtained from the 2016 Ethiopian Demographic and Health Survey (EDHS). The sample is restricted to a sub-sample of 10,641 women from 15 to 49 years old and their children under the age of five years. We used children’s height-for-age and weight-for-height Z-scores and pneumonia and anemia experience as indicators of children’s health outcome. Women’s empowerment is measured by five indices reflecting their participation in decision-making, attitudes towards wife-beating by husband, barriers to health care access, asset ownership, and socio-economic variables. These indicators of empowerment were constructed using exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis. A Multiple Indicators Multiple Causes (MIMIC) model was employed to examine the relationship between women’s empowerment and latent child health outcomes, after controlling for relevant covariates. Results suggests that enhancing women’s empowerment in the household in terms of their socio-economic status (i.e., increasing women’s access to education, information, media, and promoting saving) was associated with less likelihood of the children’s being stunted or wasted (p

Date: 2020
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:plo:pone00:0235825

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0235825

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