Women’s Empowerment and Gender Inequalities in Adolescent Nutritional Status: Evidence from the Indonesian Family Life Survey

Kunto, Yohanes Sondang and Bras, H.A.J. (Hilde) (2016) Women’s Empowerment and Gender Inequalities in Adolescent Nutritional Status: Evidence from the Indonesian Family Life Survey. In: The Young Lives Conference 2016, 08-09-2016 - 08-09-2016, Oxford - Inggris.

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    Recent studies show that women’s empowerment is a key factor in improving child nutrition. However, in contrast to the extensive knowledge on children under-five, the relation between mother’s position and adolescent nutritional status, including possible gender inequalities therein, is less well-known. Well-educated mothers are thought to have better knowledge about nutrition, more economic resources, and higher bargaining power for the benefit of their adolescent child. Empowered mothers are also thought to be more able to compensate gender biases in intra-household food allocation. We examined associations between women’s empowerment and gender inequality in adolescent nutrition using data from the Indonesian Family Life Survey (IFLS) over the period 1993 to 2015. Our pooled sample consists of 13,877 observations of 10,420 adolescents belonging to 4,948 mothers. We use mother’s number of years of completed education, mother’s decision-making power, and mother’s labour force participation as empowerment indicators. We analyse relationships of these three indicators with adolescent’s height-for-age and BMI-for-age. Our results show gender differences in BMI-for-age but not in height-for-age. We find boys are on average thinner than girls. Our random-effect models show that in general, women’s empowerment have significant positive associations with height-for-age. However, only the mother’s labour force participation holds positive associations with BMI-for-age. Our fixed-effects models comparing nutritional status of boys and girls of the same household show smaller gender gaps in BMI-for-age of those whose mothers are more educated. Further analysis reveals that boys of more educated mothers consume significantly more instant noodles and carbonated beverages compared to girls. This result indicates well-educated mothers are able to compensate boys’ thinness, but not always in healthy ways. The fact that similar differences do not exist between boys and girls of less-educated mothers may be evidence of gender bias in new disguise.

    Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
    Uncontrolled Keywords: women’s empowerment, gender inequalities, nutritional status, height-for-age, BMI-for-age, adolescents
    Subjects: H Social Sciences
    Divisions: Faculty of Economic > Marketing Management Program
    Depositing User: Admin
    Date Deposited: 05 Jul 2017 01:53
    Last Modified: 10 Jul 2017 17:46
    URI: http://repository.petra.ac.id/id/eprint/18109

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