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Economic Development, Women's Social and Economic Empowerment and Reproductive Health in Rural India
Authors: Shobha Rao, Carol Vlassoff, and Jayshree Sarode
Source: Asian Population Studies, 10(1):4-22, DOI:10.1080/17441730.2013.840083
Topic(s): Economics
Reproductive health
Women’s empowerment
Country: Asia
  India
Published: OCT 2013
Abstract: This paper analyses the relationships between economic development, women's social and economic empowerment and reproductive health in rural India using both state- and micro-level data. While previous studies have examined the separate effects of economic development on women's empowerment and reproductive health, and the interrelationships between empowerment and reproductive health indicators, to our knowledge ours is the first to examine the interrelationships among all four variables. Multiple regression analysis of data from 28 states from India's National Family Health Survey (NFHS-3), 2005–2006, shows that both social and economic empowerment are key intervening factors between economic development and reproductive health. Data from 494 women in the micro study from rural Maharashtra in 2007–2008 confirm several of these associations, and demonstrate the added value of women's economic empowerment over social empowerment and broad economic development. Economic empowerment is therefore critical for inducing positive changes in reproductive health for rural Indian women. KEYWORDS • Asia, • rural India economic development, • women, • social and economic empowerment, • national and microlevels