“Don’t forget my Mom!”Examining Gender Empowerment as a Determinant of Child Well-Being in Latin America When women thrive, all of society benefits, and succeeding generations are given a better start in life. ~Kofi Annan Cari McCachren American University School of International Service email@example.com
Research Questions: Is overall child welfare related to female autonomy and gender empowerment? does this relationship present itself Differently within the region of Latin America?
Hypothesis: Null Hypothesis: Research Hypothesis: • There is no association between overall child welfare and female autonomy and empowerment. • There is a positive association between overall child welfare and female autonomy and empowerment. This project will also observe if there are regional variations, particularly controlling for Latin America.
“Maternal education and child nutritional status in Bolivia: finding the links” • Michelle Frost, Renata Forste, and David Haas • Social Science & Medicine, 2005 • National Level Study conducted in Bolivia • Looks at the way that maternal education improves child health-concludes that there is a significant positive association. • “Changes in Inequality and Poverty in Latin America: Looking Beyond Income to Health and Education” • David Sahn and Stephen Younger • Journal of Applied Economics, 2006 • Cross-national Study with data from 6 nations • Looks at the traditional patterns of poverty to see if they are mirrored in non-income measures such as children’s health and women’s education-concludes that they are different and that there should be broad levels of measurement in studies of marginalized populations. Literature Review:
Data: Dependent: Independent: • Child Welfare Index (negchildindex) • Combination of three “negative” variables: • child mortality • children underweight • children underheight • I-Ratio • Gender Empowerment Index (gem) • Combination of the following variables: • seats in parliament held by women (% of total) • female legislators, senior officials and managers (% of total) • female professional and technical workers (% of total) • ratio of estimated female to male earned income • I-Ratio • Control Variables: • GDP per capita (gdppc) • Human Development Index (hdi) • Women's Social Rights, ciri, (Wsoc) • Dummy for Latin America All data taken from the Pippa Norris Democracy Crossnational Data, Spring 2009.
Regional Differences? • The results of an independent T-Test confirm that there is a significant regional difference between the living conditions of children in Latin America and the living conditions of children worldwide. • This conclusion is not sustained when tested against the independent variable or controls. • Therefore, the results of this study should be considered on a universal basis.
Conclusions and Policy Recommendations: Reject the Null-Accept the Research Hypothesis with Reservations… There is a significant positive relationship between gender empowerment/autonomy and overall child welfare, albeit weak. There is no significant regional difference in the strongest model. The strongest model (4) offers a strong positive correlation. Although there are some indications of multicollinearity, VIF values suggest that it is not a significant problem. More research is necessary on the topic to determine if changes in policy would be logical. Ideal policy change would be increased measures to support gender empowerment in order to improve maternal capacity to parent and, therefore, overall child welfare and national success. All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel Mother. ~Abraham Lincoln
References: Anju Malhotra, Sidney Ruth Schuler, and Carol Boender, “Measuring Women’s Empowerment as a Variable in International Development,”Background Paper for the World Bank Workshop of Poverty and Gender: New Perpsectives (June 2002), http://siteresources.worldbank.org/INTGENDER/Resources/MalhotraSchulerBoender.pdf [accessed September 30, 2010]: 1-58. David E. Sahn and Stephen D, Younger, “Changes in Inequality and Poverty in Latin America: Looking Beyond Income to Health and Education,” Journal of Applied Economics IX, no. 2 (November 2006): 215-233. http://ciri.binghamton.edu/ [accessed 11/22/2010]. http://hdr.undp.org/en/media/HDR_20072008_GEM.pdf [accessed 11/22/2010]. http://www.quotegarden.com/mothers.html http://www.betterworld.net/quotes/women-quotes.htm [accessed 11/22/2010]. Michelle Bellessa Frost, Renata Forste, and David W. Haas, “Maternal Education and child nutritional status in Bolivia:finding the links,” Social Science & Medicine 60 (2005): 395-407. Paul R. Amato, “Father-Child Relations, Mother-Child Relations, and Offspring Psychological Well-Being in Early Adulthood,” Journal of Marriage and Family 56, no. 4 (November 1994): 1031-1042. Senay Camgoz, “Tackling Inequality and Poverty at Source: The Importance of Child Well-being,” Social Europe Journal (April 2010), http://www.social-europe.eu/2010/04/tackling-inequality-and-poverty-at-source-the-importance-of-child-well-being/? [accessed 12/1/2010]. Shawn Ginwright and Taj James, “From assets to agents of change: Social justice, organizing, and youth development,” New Directions for Youth Development 2002, no. 96 (January 2003): 27-46.