Is greater decisionmaking power of women associated with reduced gender discrimination in South Asia?

Lisa C. Smith, Elizabeth Byron
fcnd discussion paper
2005

To investigate this issue, the study draws on Demographic and Health Survey data collected during the 1990s in four countries: Bangladesh, India, Nepal, and Pakistan. The main empirical technique employed is multivariate regression analysis with statistical tests for significant differences in effects for girl and boy children. A total of 30,334 women and 33,316 children under three years old are included in the analysis. The study concludes that, for the South Asia region as a whole, an increase in women’s decisionmaking power relative to men’s, if substantial, would be an effective force for reducing discrimination against girl children.