Women’s Decision-Making Autonomy and Under-Five Mortality in Rural Mozambique

Luciana Luz, Cedeplar, UFMG

Studies focusing on investments in children have demonstrated the importance of women’s status for child’s outcomes. Women’s lower status is associated with less control over resources, lower decision-making power in the household and children’s affairs; less access to health services, more mobility and time constrains. In a setting with important gender imbalances and poor health outcomes like Mozambique, it is relevant to further investigate how maternal status affects children’s survival. Using survey data from 2006 and 2009, this study analyzes how women’s self-reported decision-making power affects children’s survival chances. Preliminary results show a negative impact of decision-making autonomy on under-five mortality, net of other characteristics related to women’s status. When the analysis is conducted by sex, the effect holds only for sons, and it is not significant for daughters. The full paper will investigate possible pathways for this association in a context of high HIV prevalence and intense male migration.

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 Presented in Session P7. Health and Mortality of Women, Children and Families