"Green famine": mothers' education and children's nutritional status in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Jane Ebot, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)

Women’s individual-level educational attainment is a proximate determinant of children’s nutrition. Recent evidence has shown a relationship between unwanted pregnancies and children's early life and nutrition outcomes. This study examines the relationship between women's education, fertility and conception behaviors, and children’s nutritional outcomes in the Democratic Republic of the Congo using the DHS in 2007 and 2014. Findings reveal that: (a) rural children are more likely to be malnourished compared to urban children, (b) the highest percentage of malnourished children reside in low-educated urban communities; (c) women’s education is associated with children’s nutrition; and (d) pregnancy desire is related to children's nutritional outcomes. The results underscore the importance of a providing education and family planning to women as a means to improving children's early life chances.

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Presented in Poster Session 2