The Impact of Women’s Decision-Making Power on the Quality of Life of Children under Five Years of Age in Benin
Bénédicte, Atchade Touwédé
African Economic Research Consortium
Using data from Benin’s Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS, 2018), we examined the impact of the purchasing power of women on the quality of life of children under the age of five years. More specifically, the study examined the impact of the decision-making power of the woman on the nutritional status of children and also of nutritional status on children’s immunization status, using a Multinomial Logit model with the households as the theoretical models. The results of our study generally show that when the woman is involved in decision making within her household, the nutritional status of children and their immunization status are satisfactory. Variables such as the age of the woman, her level of education, the level of education of the head of the household, the employment status of the head of the household, the main decision maker on the health of the children, the interval between child births, the level of wealth of the household and the sex of the child significantly improve the immunization status of children under the age of five years. However, variables such as the distance from a hospital, giving birth to twins and the order of birth have a negative impact on the immunization status of children. In regard to the nutritional status of children, variables such as the age of the woman, her level of education, the management of the income of the woman, the wealth level of the household, the fact that the child is a girl and the fact that the parents collectively decide on the health of the children lower the probability of the child being malnourished. However, variables such as birth order to the children, the fact that the children are twins and age of the child increase the probability of a child being malnourished. Initiatives and approaches therefore should be undertaken in order to increase the empowerment of women. The results of this study will have a positive impact on the nutritional status of women. In the short term, these recommendations should have an impact on the scholarly results of children, in the medium term on the labour market, and in the long term on sustained economic growth.