Women's Empowerment and Infant Mortality in Rwanda: The Period of 2005 - 2015 Health Sector Policies
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The women's empowerment is an important social determinant for describing women's abilities and capacities in society. Over past decades the various research has focused on the relationship between infant mortality and health aspects while neglecting the possible social aspects and related effects on infant mortality. This study aims to fill the gap in research on the impacts of women's empowerment and health policy on infant mortality in Rwanda, as well as to discover the relationship between two components, and various variables include bio-demographic, socio-economic, environmental, media exposure, health care, and nutrient deficiency variables that accompany infant mortality, health policy, and women's empowerment. The data source used in this study come from three main standards Rwanda Demographic and Health Surveys (RDHS 2005/2010 and 2015).Principle Component Analysis was used to create women's empowerment index. In the study, binary logistic regression analysis was used as the analysis method. In the first two models, the independent effects of women empowerment and health policy period variables were examined, and in the third model, the effects of these two main explanatory variables were examined under the control of all variables related to bio-demographic, socio-economic, environmental, media use, health care, and nutritional deficiency. The findings of the study discovered the impacts of women's empowerment and health policy on infant mortality. It was found that women's empowerment reduced infant mortality by 1.47 times, and the health policy that started to be implemented in 2005 was 2.34 times. The study includes important findings on the effects of bio-demographic, socio-economic, environmental, media use, healthcare, and nutritional variables on infant mortality in Rwanda.