The Universal Causes and Effects of Women's Empowerment for Developing Countries
- Publisher: Uppsala universitet, Statistiska institutionen
Sannolikhetsteori och statistik | Probability Theory and Statistics
mesheuropmc: education | health care economics and organizations | health services administration | social sciences
Women’s empowerment has been thoroughly discussed during the last two decades, yet the research on the components of empowerment on the national level is still lacking. This paper aims to fill that gap by investigating which national causes and effects of women’s empowerment that are generally visible across developing countries. Previous studies on meso- and micro level have shown that an increase in women’s education, an increase in women’s economic independence as well as a strong legal framework is positively associated with women’s empowerment. Furthermore, a strengthening of women’s reproductive rights, an increase in children’s health and a better representation of women in parliament have been identified as effects of women’s empowerment. These hypotheses are tested through a structural equation model where women’s empowerment is estimated as a latent factor. The final model, which suffers from bad fit, shows that the quality of education is a strong determinant of women’s empowerment, and that women’s empowerment significantly affects the general level of children’s health. It also indicates that the strength of the legal framework is actually negatively correlated with women’s empowerment - a finding that calls for further research.