Role of Women’s Empowerment in Determining Child Stunting in Eastern India and Bangladesh

Ankita Siddhanta, Aparajita Chattopadhyay


This paper examines the relationship between women’s empowerment and nutritional status of children. Data from BDHS (2007) and NFHS (2005-06) were used to examine the role of women’s empowerment in determining child stunting in Eastern India and Bangladesh. Results revealed that stunting and chronic malnourishment were more among children in Eastern India than Bangladesh. Severe stunting was also more prevalent among children of Eastern India as compared with Bangladesh. Mother’s body mass index, mother’s age, sub-region, community, religion, wealth quintile and empowerment indicators (mother’s education and decision making power) had significant association with child stunting. While women’s empowerment played an important role to reduce child stunting mainly in Bangladesh, education, religion and sub-region had a strong effect on stunting in Eastern India. Policies related to educating and economically empowering women in both the regions may facilitate to improve the nutritional status of children and their health.

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