Gender Inequality and Child Well-being

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Child well-being can be defined as having the capability or the strengths to undertake and perform activities or to enter into successful relationships that are appropriate for a child's age and level of physical and psychological development.[1].

The Role of Gender Inequality 

For children to be able to reach full development, the mother has to live in suitable conditions throughout and after the pregnancy which means that basic human needs have to be satisfied and the psychological well-being of the mother to be cared for. This implicates socio-economic problems as well as spousal violence.
When women have more control over financial resources, household expenditure patterns are geared relatively more towards human development inputs, such as food, health and education.[2] The target of the third Millennium Goal is to promote gender equality and to empower women and to eliminate gender disparity in primary and secondary education at all levels by 2015.[3] The rate of return on women’s education is higher than that of men’s in most developing countries. Education has not only an impact on labour force participation, but also on the well-being of their children. A similar effect is obtained by providing women with access to microfinance, which results in greater independence and generally in the increase of spending on the household. The empowerment of women results in later marriage, lower fertility rates, improved hygiene, less malnutrition, fewer maladies, a decline in child labour and better education for their children which leads to the multiplier effect for future generations. Higher education levels for mothers generally improves the health for both sons and daughters since women tend to invest more into their households than their husbands[4].


Studies by the United Nations, the World Bank and other organizations have given evidence that educating girls is one of the most cost-effective means to improving health standards. However, evidence from PakistanBangladesh and other LDC’s show that the existing assumption about a strong correlation between girls’ education and greater incomes may not always be true[5]. However, there is a significant positive influence of greater education upon cultural gender-discriminating attitudes, such as the minimization of the devaluation of girls which leads to lower figures of “missing women”.[6] Considering existing research, the empowerment of women stands for reducing gender disparities and for greater human development.

Child Well-being and Gender Inequality on Wikiprogress

Wikiprogress outlines addtional aspects of Child Well-being and Gender Inequality with the elaboration of evidence from developed and developing countries.

See also


  1. "Women's Empowerment and Child Well-being ." Andhra Pradesh Human Development Report 2007, 2007. Web. 3 Jul 2011. <>.
  2. Todaro, Michael. Economic Development. 10th ed. Pearson Education, 2009. 387. Print.
  4. Todaro, Michael. Economic Development. 10th ed. Pearson Education, 2009. 380-391. Print.
  5. Todaro, Michael. Economic Development. 10th ed. Pearson Education, 2009. 283. Print.
  6. Amartya, Sen. "Missing Women." British Medical Journal. 304 (1992): 104. Print.

External links

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