Does Gender Still Determine Nutrition Status?
Much has been written about the role of gender in perpetuating undernutrition in India. Judging from education, employment and health statistics over the past five decades, women’s status has shown measurable improvement; whether this has resulted in reducing the gender gap in human development indicators, however, needs further investigation. Assessing gender differentials in nutrition status is an even more complex issue. Gender differentials in nutrition are essentially a result of intra-household disparities in access to the food basket exacerbated by unequal access to other essential services. This inequality begins early with differential care patterns reflected in the duration of breastfeeding, provision of weaning foods, medical treatment, routine checkups, immunization, supplementary nutrition and early childhood care programmes. This chapter assesses existing gender disparities in intra-household access to nutritious food, child nutrition indicators and caring practices, and attempts to capture positive changes, however small, over time.
KeywordsGender Parity Birth Order Nutritious Food Gender Disparity Nutrition Outcome
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