Table of Contents
ISRN Pediatrics
Volume 2013, Article ID 159542, 8 pages
Research Article

Effect of Women’s Decision-Making Autonomy on Infant’s Birth Weight in Rural Bangladesh

1Department of Community Medicine, Manipal College of Medical Sciences (MCOMS), 155 Pokhara, Nepal
2Department of Women’s and Children’s Health, International Maternal and Child Health (IMCH), Uppsala University, 751 85 Uppsala, Sweden

Received 14 September 2013; Accepted 11 November 2013

Academic Editors: M. Adhikari, S. K. Patole, and S. A. Sarker

Copyright © 2013 Arpana Sharma and Manzur Kader. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Low birth weight (LBW), an outcome of maternal undernutrition, is a major public health concern in Bangladesh where the problem is most prominent. Women’s decision-making autonomy is likely an important factor influencing maternal and child health outcomes. The aim of the study was to assess the effect of women’s decision-making autonomy on infant’s birth weight (BW). Methods. The study included data of 2175 enrolled women (14–45 years of age) from the Maternal and Infant Nutritional Intervention in Matlab (MINIMat-study) in Bangladesh. Pearson’s chi-square test, analysis of covariance (ANCOVA), and logistic regression analysis were applied at the collected data. Results. Women with lowest decision-making autonomy were significantly more likely to have a low birth weight (LBW) child, after controlling for maternal age, education (woman’s and her husband’s), socioeconomic status (SES) (odds ratio (OR) = 1.4; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.0, 1.8). BW was decreased significantly among women with lowest decision making autonomy after adjusting for all confounders. Conclusion. Women’s decision-making autonomy has an independent effect on BW and LBW outcome. In addition, there is a need for further exploration to identify sociocultural attributes and gender related determinants of women decision-making autonomy in this study setting.