Women's Empowerment and Infant and Young Child Feeding in Bangladesh Open Access

Cliffer, Ilana Rachel (2013)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/kp78gg42m?locale=en


Prevalence of undernutrition partially due to suboptimal infant and young child feeding (IYCF) is a salient issue in the developing world. Women's empowerment is associated with improved child nutritional status but its role in IYCF is not clear. The authors defined women's empowerment specifically for IYCF in the cultural context of Bangladesh, and subsequently examined women's empowerment as a determinant of optimal IYCF. Formative qualitative research done May-August 2012 in Bangladesh suggested that nine domains of women's empowerment are applicable to IYCF: financial, decision-making, mobility autonomy, attitudes towards domestic violence, social support, education, psycho-social well-being, self-efficacy, and negotiation habits. Using a subset of 3,170 mothers from the 2011 Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey (BDHS), the authors built multiple logistic regression models to test associations between identified domains of empowerment and optimal IYCF. Empowerment was considered both as a dichotomous index and using each domain as a separate exposure in multivariate models. Results indicated positive associations between higher empowerment and optimal complementary feeding practices, but no significant associations between empowerment and breastfeeding practices. Programs and strategies to improve the uptake of effective infant and young child feeding, especially those practices involving complementary feeding, should include a component aimed at bolstering women's empowerment.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Chapter I: Introduction.. 2

Context of Project. 2

Problem statement. 3

Purpose of project. 4

Chapter II: Literature Review 5

Global Child Undernutrition.. 5

Optimal Infant and Young Child Feeding. 6

Association between Women's Empowerment and Infant and Young Child Health.. 12

Exploring the Role of Women's Empowerment in Optimal IYCF 25

Chapter III: Manuscript. 27

I. Introduction.. 32

II. Methods. 34

Study Setting and Participants. 35

Data Collection.. 36

Data Analysis. 37

Quality Control 40

III. Results. 41

Formative Qualitative Research Findings. 41

Quantitative Results. 41

IV. Discussion.. 44

Strengths and Limitations. 48

Conclusions. 50

Future Recommendations. 51

V. References. 51

VI. Tables and Figures. 53

Chapter IV: Conclusion and Recommendations 66

Recommendations for Future Research.. 67

Public Health Implications 67

References 70

Appendix.. 74

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