Association Between Women’s Empowerment and Maternal and Child Nutrition in Kalalé District of Northern Benin

Halimatou Alaofè, Min Zhu, Jennifer Burney, Rosamond Naylor, Douglas L Taren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Evidence on effectiveness of women’s empowerment (WE) to reduce undernutrition is limited in sub-Sahara Africa, and few studies incorporate multidimensional measures of WE. Objective: To examine whether a WE status, in sum and across leadership, decision-making, mobility, economic security, male involvement in housework, and nonfamily group domains, is associated with women and their children nutritional status in Kalalé district of northern Benin. Methods: Data were obtained from the 2014 Solar Market Garden baseline study: 767 paired reproductive-age women aged 15 to 49 years and children 6 to 59 months old. Exploratory principal component (cross-validate with confirmatory) factor analysis was first conducted to identify the structure of empowerment. Then, using a new survey-based index, regression analysis was conducted to examine associations between WE measures and maternal dietary diversity score (DDS) and body mass index (BMI), as well as their child’s DDS, height-for-age z score (HAZ), weight-for-height z score (WHZ), and weight-for-age z score (WAZ). Results: Positive associations were observed between women’s composite empowerment, leadership, maternal DDS and BMI, and female child’s DDS. However, opposite signs were found between economic security and child’s DDS. Mobility was positively associated with female children’s WHZ and male children’s HAZ and WAZ, while decision-making was correlated with male child’s WHZ and female children’s WAZ. Conclusions: Women’s empowerment can be associated with undernutrition. Efforts to improve nutrition may benefit from empowerment initiatives that promote women’s self-confidence and decision-making in Benin. However, additional qualitative and longitudinal research may enhance understanding of WE in the present area.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)302-318
Number of pages17
JournalFood and Nutrition Bulletin
Volume38
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2017

Fingerprint

Benin
child nutrition
maternal nutrition
empowerment
nutrition
Mothers
district
Weights and Measures
Decision Making
decision making
leadership
Malnutrition
malnutrition
body mass
Body Mass Index
body mass index
Economics
household cleaning
Power (Psychology)
woman

Keywords

  • child nutrition
  • dietary diversity score
  • Kalalé district
  • maternal nutrition
  • northern Benin
  • women’s empowerment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

Cite this

Association Between Women’s Empowerment and Maternal and Child Nutrition in Kalalé District of Northern Benin. / Alaofè, Halimatou; Zhu, Min; Burney, Jennifer; Naylor, Rosamond; Taren, Douglas L.

In: Food and Nutrition Bulletin, Vol. 38, No. 3, 01.09.2017, p. 302-318.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Alaofè, Halimatou ; Zhu, Min ; Burney, Jennifer ; Naylor, Rosamond ; Taren, Douglas L. / Association Between Women’s Empowerment and Maternal and Child Nutrition in Kalalé District of Northern Benin. In: Food and Nutrition Bulletin. 2017 ; Vol. 38, No. 3. pp. 302-318.
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