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This study evaluates the impact of women's decision making power and attitudes about themselves in Egypt on three dimensions of child health: stunting, wasting and underweight. This study seeks to understand how women's perceived decision making power and self-perception affect child health, net of household socio-economic characteristics. These measures of child health are utilized because they describe the long and short term consequences on the health of Egyptian children. An analysis of stunting, wasting and underweight is important as it excludes children that have already succumbed to infant and child mortality that will not make up Egypt's future population and subsequent economic and political landscape. Analyses of the children's recode of the 2008 Egyptian Demographic and Health Survey reveal that while accounting for little of the variation in child health, dimensions of women's power are statistically significant predictors of child health, independent of measures of socioeconomic status. Logistic regression is used to understand how the effect of mother's perceived decision making power and attitudes affect child stunting, wasting and underweight in Egypt and how that effect changes when accounting for measures of socio-economic status and other controls. Children are less likely to be stunted, wasted or underweight when their mothers have more power and access to resources. These findings suggest that women's decision making power is important in its own right as a proximate determinant of child health, net of its traditional role as part of a measurement of socioeconomic status.
Attitudes About Self, Child Health, Decision Making, Egypt, Stunting, Women'S Power
Date of Defense
March 24, 2014.
A Dissertation submitted to the Department of Sociology in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Includes bibliographical references.
Isaac W. Eberstein, Professor Directing Dissertation; Rebecca Miles, University Representative; Elwood Carlson, Committee Member; Kathryn Tillman, Committee Member.
Florida State University
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