Women’s Status and Child Nutrition: Evidence from Bangladesh

Lynne M. Casper, University of Southern California
Radheeka Jayasundera, University of Southern California

In 2007, Secretary-General of the United Nations, Kofi A. Annan asserted: “When women are healthy, educated and free to take the opportunities life affords them, children thrive and countries flourish, reaping a double dividend for women and children” (UNICEF). The goal of this research study is to test several hypotheses that are embedded in the above statement using two waves of the Demographic and Health Survey of Bangladesh (1999/2000 & 2007). Bangladesh has deeply rooted patriarchical ideals and relatively low value for women. Domestic violence, female infanticide and low resource allocation for girl-children are proof of women’s relative low status. However, there are variations among households on how they make decisions and the extent to which family members conform to the social norms. For this reasons, it is worth looking at the differences between households and changes over time in women’s status and how it has affected child nutrition.

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Presented in Poster Session 5