EconStor >
United Nations University (UNU) >
World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU-WIDER), United Nations University >
WIDER Research Papers, United Nations University (UNU) >

Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:

http://hdl.handle.net/10419/63555
  
Title:The role of women's empowerment and domestic violence in child growth and undernutrition in a tribal and rural community in South India PDF Logo
Authors:Sethuraman, Kavita
Issue Date:2008
Series/Report no.:Research Paper, UNU-WIDER, United Nations University (UNU) 2008/15
Abstract:Moderate undernutrition continues to affect 46 per cent of children under 5 years of age and 47 per cent of rural women in India. Women’s lack of empowerment is believed to be an important factor in the persistent prevalence of undernutrition. In India, women’s empowerment often varies by community, with tribes sometimes being the most progressive. This paper explores the relationship between women’s empowerment, domestic violence, maternal nutritional status, and the nutritional status and growth over six months in children aged 6 to 24 months in a rural and tribal community. This longitudinal observational study undertaken in rural Karnataka, India included tribal and rural subjects. Structured interviews with mothers were conducted and anthropometric measurements were obtained for 820 mother-child pairs, the follow-up rate after 6 months was 82 per cent. The data were analyzed by multivariate regression. Some degree of undernutrition was seen in 83.5 per cent of children and 72.4 per cent of mothers in the sample, moreover the prevalence of undernutrition increased among children at follow up. Domestic violence was experienced by 34 per cent of mothers in the sample. In multivariate analysis, biological variables explained most of the variance in nutritional status and child growth, followed by health-care seeking and women’s empowerment variables; socio-economic variables explained the least variance. Women’s empowerment variables were significantly associated with child nutrition on enrolment and child growth at follow-up. At follow-up, mother’s prior lifetime experience of physical violence significantly undermined child growth in terms of weight-for-age, and older age at marriage and high mobility of mothers predicted less stunting in their children. In addition to the known investments needed to reduce undernutrition, improving women’s nutrition, promoting gender equality, empowering women, and ending violence against women could further reduce the prevalence of undernutrition in this segment of the Indian population.
Subjects:child nutrition
child growth
domestic violence
nutritional status
women’s empowerment
maternal nutritional status
JEL:Q18
D19
ISBN:978-92-9230-057-9
Document Type:Working Paper
Appears in Collections:WIDER Research Papers, United Nations University (UNU)

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat
560602375.pdf149.7 kBAdobe PDF
No. of Downloads: Counter Stats
Download bibliographical data as: BibTeX
Share on:http://hdl.handle.net/10419/63555

Items in EconStor are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.