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Women's Autonomy and Child Survival: A Comparison of Muslims and Non-Muslims in Four Asian Countries

Sharon J. Ghuman
Demography
Vol. 40, No. 3 (Aug., 2003), pp. 419-436
Published by: Springer on behalf of the Population Association of America
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1515153
Page Count: 18
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Women's Autonomy and Child Survival: A Comparison of Muslims and Non-Muslims in Four Asian Countries
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Abstract

In this article, I evaluate the hypothesis that higher infant and child mortality among Muslim populations is related to the lower autonomy of Muslim women using data from 15 pairs of Muslim and non-Muslim communities in India, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Thailand. Women's autonomy in various spheres is not consistently lower in Muslim than in non-Muslim settings. Both across and within communities, the association between women's autonomy and mortality is weak, and measures of autonomy or socioeconomic status are generally of limited import for understanding the Muslim disadvantage in children's survival.

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