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Understanding Malnutrition of Tribal Children in India: The Role of Women’s Empowerment
Authors: Debnath A, and Bhattacharjee N
Source: Ecology of Food and Nutrition, 55(6): 508-527; DOI: 10.1080/03670244.2016.1223652
Topic(s): Child health
Women’s empowerment
Country: Asia
Published: NOV 2016
Abstract: Child malnutrition is considered to be the key risk factor for illness during adolescence and is responsible for about one-third of child deaths globally. Historically tribal communities have lagged behind the general population in terms of most socioeconomic aspects, and one such aspect is the nutritional status of children. The present study analyzes regional variations in child malnutrition and its association with women’s empowerment in the tribal communities of India. The investigation is based on secondary data compiled from India’s third National Family Health Survey (NFHS). Both bivariate and multivariate techniques were used to analyze data. We found a conditional inverse association between child malnutrition and women’s empowerment in tribal communities. It is conditional in the sense that women’s empowerment is effective when other factors supposed to influence nutritional status are proactive.