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Studies show that greater women’s empowerment in specific domains is associated with improved nutritional status of women and children. For example, studies reveal:

  • Women with higher participation in household decision-making had children who were less underweight and wasted.
  • Increases in mobility were linked to a decreased likelihood of having stunted children and increased likelihood of children eating a diverse diet.
  • Higher social capital among mothers in terms of having trust, feelings of belonging and support from others was associated with lower rates of malnutrition among young children.
  • Women with accepting attitudes toward domestic violence were more likely to have stunted children. Women who experienced domestic violence were at greater risk of being malnourished and having malnourished children.

Building on Existing Experience

Our nutrition programming builds on CARE’s rich experience in promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment by:

  • Addressing social norms by encouraging dialogue and reflection around practices that may negatively impact women and children’s health and nutrition
  • Working through mother’s, men’s, & in-law’s groups to build social capital and supportive families
  • Linking to economic strengthening opportunities for women
  • Engaging key actors: community & religious leaders, civil society, and government to drive social change

Measuring Progress

We use a modified version of CARE’s women’s empowerment survey tool, WE-MEASR, to evaluate changes across its four focal areas.

For more information, check out our program brief: