This report presents a collection of six working papers on the dynamics of gender in developing countries. The papers, commissioned by the MEASURE DHS project, were prepared by researchers recognized for their work in the areas of demography, reproductive health, and gender. The analyses presented are based on data from the Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) project. Funding was provided by the U.S. Agency for International Development (US AID).
A common theme of several of the papers is the struggle to define women’s empowerment and/or autonomy and then to adequately measure it. Five of the working papers in this volume focus on the gender questions in the core DHS questionnaire, particularly the questions on household decision making and women’s autonomy and empowerment, and their relationship to different population, health, and nutrition (PHN) outcomes of interest. The last paper examines whether PHN outcomes of interest vary by women’s experience of domestic violence. The PHN outcomes studied by the papers include child health, nutrition, mortality, women’s nutrition, maternal care and reproductive health, as well as condom use and thetheir risk of sexually transmitted infections and condom uses.