Development efforts have brought about major changes in Bangladesh over the last decade1-3, yet the nutritional situation of women and children in Bangladesh is still of great concern. Gender equality and the improvement of child nutritional status are related and are centered in the first and third Millennium Development Goal (MDG). This bulletin adds to earlier findings of the Nutritional Surveillance Project (NSP) and shows that female decision-making power is related to improved nutritional status of women and children. Bangladesh’s society is still very male dominated, yet the proportion of female-headed households in rural areas increased from 2% in 1996 to 6% in 2005. Although female-headed households had better educated mothers than male-head households, their higher vulnerability surfaces throughout. Occupational characteristics, migration patterns and different priorities in spending their money shed further light on why, at the same time, these households accomplish better nutritional outcomes.
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