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Whether Recent Upswing in Women's Empowerment has a Potential to Address Malnutrition among Women and Children? Evidence from Fourth Round of Indian Demographic Health Survey
Authors: Shri Kant Singh, Swati Srivastava, Gudakesh, Y Vaidehi, and Jitendra Gupta
Source: International Journal of Women’s Health Care, 2(2): 1-16
Topic(s): Child health
Women's health
Women’s empowerment
Country: Asia
Published: SEP 2017
Abstract: Background: Socio-political status of women in India has been improved considerably in the last decades and has been perceived to be an important catalyst behind the improvement in maternal and child health situation. Many evil and masculine forces still prevail in the modern Indian society that resists the forward march of women folk.Methods: Using the information from the 4th round of National Family Health Survey (2015-16) and multivariate linear regression analysis this study explored that whether the recent swings of women empowerment has potential to address the nutritional status of women and children in India.Results: Result shows a considerable variation in level and inequality in women’s empowerment across states. Regression results shows a positive association between inequalities in possession of house/land, bank account, at least 10 years of schooling and working status of women with malnutrition among women and children; whereas negative relationship with household decision making and use of mobile. The study highlighted that there had been amelioration in the situation of women, but their true empowerment is still awaited. The study highlighted that inequalities in different dimensions of women’s empowerment are positively associated with nutritional status of women and children. Conclusions: The study concluded that inequalities in women’s empowerment are associated with nutritional status of women and children. Ensuring equity in women’s empowerment should be topmost priority through structural interventions. Many states have considerable gap in institutional births and colostrum’s feeding as well as 3+DPT and exclusive breastfeeding. Minimizing this missed opportunity may improve the nutritional status of women and children.