Gender equality as a means to improve maternal and child health in Africa

Health Care Women Int. 2015;36(1):57-69. doi: 10.1080/07399332.2013.824971. Epub 2013 Sep 12.


In this article we examine whether measures of gender equality, household decision making, and attitudes toward gender-based violence are associated with maternal and child health outcomes in Africa. We pooled Demographic and Health Surveys data from eight African countries and used multilevel logistic regression on two maternal health outcomes (low body mass index and facility delivery) and two child health outcomes (immunization status and treatment for an acute respiratory infection). We found protective associations between the gender equality measures and the outcomes studied, indicating that gender equality is a potential strategy to improve maternal and child health in Africa.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Africa
  • Child
  • Child Welfare
  • Delivery, Obstetric / statistics & numerical data
  • Domestic Violence
  • Female
  • Gender Identity
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Health Services Accessibility
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Logistic Models
  • Maternal-Child Health Centers / organization & administration*
  • Pregnancy
  • Quality Improvement*
  • Residence Characteristics
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Young Adult