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Women’s empowerment and nutritional status of children in the Gambia: further analysis of the 2020 Gambia demographic and health survey
Authors: Jainaba Sey-Sawo, Francis Sarr, Haddy Tunkara Bah and Thomas Senghore
Source: BMC Public Health, 23
Topic(s): Child feeding
Child health
Women’s empowerment
Country: Africa
Published: MAR 2023
Abstract: Empowering women and the promotion of children’s health are key components of the Sustainable Development Goals targeted for achievement by 2030. The survival of young children, which depends on their nutrition, is influenced by an interaction of factors at the household level. This study aims to investigate the association between women’s empowerment and undernutrition among children under age 5 using The Gambia Demographic Health Survey (GDHS) 2019–20. Children’s undernutrition was measured with two indicators: stunting and underweight. The women’s empowerment indicators were educational status, employment, decision making, age at first sex and age at first birth, and acceptance of wife beating. StataSE software Version 17 was used for data analysis. Analyses were cluster-adjusted, sample-weighted, with confounding/moderating variables. Descriptive statistics and cross-tabulations were computed for all variables. Bivariate and multivariate analysis of the outcomes and women’s empowerment were conducted. The prevalence of stunting and underweight among the children under age 5 was 17% and 12%, respectively. The results of the multiple logistic regression show that women with no education had 51% (OR?=?1.51; 95% CI?=?1.11–2.07; p?=?0.009), and 52% (OR?=?1.52; 95% CI?=?1.06–2.14; p?=?0.022) greater odds of having children under age 5 who were stunted or underweight compared to those women with primary and higher level of education, respectively. Mothers with a body mass index classified as thin were associated with an increased odds of having stunted (OR?=?1.44; 95% CI 1.01–2.05; p?=?0.033) and underweight (OR?=?1.69; 95% CI?=?1.58–3.52; P?