The objective of this paper is to explore linkages between mothers’ socioeconomic empowerment and the nutritional status of children under age five in the context of Pakistan. Empowerment is represented through a composite index which is developed for this study by incorporating various empowerment dimensions; such as educational attainment, labor force participation, involvement in household decisions, asset ownership, freedom of movement and perceptions regarding domestic violence. Nationally representative rich data of Pakistan Demographic and Health Survey 2012-13 is used to quantify the nature and direction of relationship between empowerment and child malnutrition in terms of stunting, wasting and under weights in a multivariate logistic regression framework. The estimated results highlight the importance of empowerment dimensions, considered in this analysis for improvement of nutritional status of children. Thus to empower women, eradication of gender discrimination and public interventions that aims to empower women directly through conditional cash transfer programs, microfinance, agriculture and livestock projects are recommended.
Key words: Mothers’ Empowerment Index, Principal Component Analysis, Child Malnutrition, Logistic Regression, Pakistan.