Women’s Empowerment and Child Malnutrition
The Case of Mozambique
Using data from the 2011 Demographic and Health Survey in Mozambique this paper checks whether women empowerment has an impact on the nutritional status of children. We evaluate the degree of empowerment of women via multidimensional approaches, making a distinction between five domains: decision making, use of violence by husband/partner, attitude of the woman towards this use of violence, available information, material resources.
Each domain includes several questions reflecting different aspects of empowerment. For each domain of empowerment, three different methods of aggregation are used: correspondence analysis, the so‐called Alkire and Foster methodology and the “fuzzy sets” approach. The impact of women empowerment on the nutritional status of children is analyzed via the MIMIC approach.
No clear‐cut conclusion concerning the possible impact of women’s empowerment on the nutritional status of children could be drawn. But, ceteris paribus, the material wealth of the household, the educational level of the mother and her BMI are positively correlated with the nutritional status of children which is also higher when the child is female. Finally, there are important differences in the nutritional status of children between the various regions of Mozambique and this nutritional status is in most regions lower in rural areas.