228756 Women's empowerment and children's nutritional outcomes in Nigeria

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Adenike Onagoruwa, MS , International Health and Development, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA
OBJECTIVES The objective of this study was to examine the relationship between women's empowerment and nutritional outcomes among children under-five.

BACKGROUND Malnutrition is an important factor contributing to under-five morbidity and mortality in sub-Saharan Africa. Research suggests that a mother's low socioeconomic status is related to child malnutrition. While many studies have focused on the effects of maternal education, few have addressed women's financial independence and decision-making autonomy.

DATA Data were derived from the nationally-representative 2008 Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey. The survey used a stratified two-stage cluster sampling design. Our outcomes were low height-for-age (stunting) and low weight-for-height (wasting) for 19,010 children aged 0-59 months and the number of food groups consumed on the day and night preceding the survey (dietary diversity) for children aged 6-23 months. Women's empowerment was measured using 5 dimensions: decision-making; attitudes towards domestic violence; education; financial autonomy; spousal education/age gap.

Tests of independence were conducted using chi-square statistics converted into F-tests. Multivariate logistic regression was conducted for stunting/wasting and multivariate linear regression for dietary diversity. The data were weighted to account for unequal probabilities of selection and homogeneity of sampling clusters. Analyses were conducted using STATA version 10.0.


Financial independence, decision-making and spousal education gap were significantly associated with stunting, wasting and dietary diversity, after controlling for socio-economic status, mother's education, place of residence and child gender.

POLICY IMPLICATIONS The effect of women's empowerment on child growth and feeding practices indicate the need for interventions that focus on improving the autonomy of women.

Learning Areas:
Program planning

Learning Objectives:
Identify the women's empowerment indicators that are associated with child nutritional outcomes in Nigeria.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a doctoral student in the International Health & Development Department at Tulane and have skills in Program planning & research.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.