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Power and Pregnancies: Disentangling Causes and Consequences of Safe Motherhood in Tanzania

  • November 2015
  • Dissertation
Westeneng, Judith

Publication Title: Radboud University Nijmegen

Abstract: Although an increasing body of studies is looking at the linkages between women’s empowerment and safe motherhood, most studies only focus on empowerment as cause and not as effect. In addition, mostly cross-sectional data is used, which does not allow scholars to assess causality. The mixed evidence described above suggests results are likely to be context specific. Policymakers could benefit from clearer evidence on the causal relations between various empowerment dimensions and indicators and reproductive health outcomes in specific settings. This thesis adds to the literature in three ways. First, it brings the two concepts of empowerment and safe motherhood together in a dynamic way, focusing on both the causes and consequences. The central research question of this thesis is therefore: How are women’s empowerment and safe motherhood causally related? Secondly, it provides clearer evidence on which empowerment dimensions is related to which phase of the reproductive cycle. Thirdly, it does so using unique panel data from the Lake Zone region in Tanzania.


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