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Title: Girls’ Hidden Penalty: Analysis of Gender Inequality in Child Mortality with Data from 195 Countries
Authors: Iqbal, N
Giouleka, A
Milner, A
Montag, D
Gallo, V
Issue Date: 30-Oct-2018
Publisher: BMJ Publishing Group
Citation: BMJ Global Health, 2018, 3 (5), pp. 1 - 9
Abstract: Introduction Gender inequality has been associated with child mortality; however, sex-specific mortalities have yet to be explored. The aim of this study is to assess the associations between gender inequality and the child mortality sex ratio at country level, worldwide and to infer on possible mechanisms. Methods Data on sex-specific under-five mortality rates (U5MR) and the corresponding sex ratio (U5MSR) for the year 2015, by country, were retrieved from the Unicef database. Excess under-five female mortality was derived from previous published work. Gender inequality was measured using the Gender Inequality Index (GII). Additional biological and social variables have been included to explore potential mechanistic pathways. Results A total of 195 countries were included in the analysis. In adjusted models, GII was significantly negatively associated with the U5MSR (β=−0.29 (95% CI −0.42 to –0.16), p<0.001) and borderline significantly positively associated with excess under-five female mortality (β = 3.25 (95% CI −0.28 to 6.67, p=0.071). The association between GII and U5MSR was strong and statistically significant only in low-income and middle-income countries and in the Western Pacific area. Conclusion The more gender unequal a society is, the more girls are penalised in terms of their survival chances, in particular in low-income and middle-income countries. In order to decrease child mortality and excess girl mortality, global policy should focus on reducing gender inequality surrounding measures of reproductive health, women’s political empowerment, educational attainment and participation in the workforce.
ISSN: 2059-7908
Appears in Collections:Dept of Life Sciences Research Papers

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