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Empowerment of women and links to child's health in Egypt

Ibrahim Ms Ghada, Information and Decision Support Center (IDSC), the Egyptian Cabinet
Marwan Khawaga, American University of Beirut

The purpose of this paper is to both quantify women's empowerment in Egyptian context and examine whether any significant improvement in their situation has been achieved since 1995. Further, the association between women's empowerment and child health will be examined. It is argued that women with higher status are better able to make positive investments in their children's chances of living in better health. Data used in the study come from the Egypt Demographic and health surveys in 1995 and 2005. Women's empowerment is quantified using constructed indices: mobility index, attitude towards gender index, attitude towards domestic violence index, women's involvement in domestic decision making, and media exposure. The evidence suggested that women's status in Egypt is significantly changed in the period between 1995 and 2005. Further, child survival benefit from women's empowerment. Some policy implications of the findings and measurement issues pertaining to women’s empowerment are discussed.

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Presented in Session 65: Gender inequities and inequalities