Early childhood deaths are caused by disease that can be prevented and treated like diarrhea. Women's empowerment must be deemed as a very critical component because it is commonly related with maternal and child health status, healthcare utilization and uptake of child health services. This study aims to determine the association between women's empowerment and diarrhea in children under two years in Indonesia. We extracted data from the dataset of the 2017 Indonesian Demographic Health Survey (IDHS) to evaluate the association between women's empowerment and diarrhea incidents. Data of 5526 mothers of children under two years were analyzed. Child's factors, maternal and paternal factors, household factors and access to health care factors were the covariates under investigation. We used principal component analysis (PCA) to create four empowerment components (Women's participation in the labor force, attitude towards wife-beating, decision-making and level of knowledge). Multivariate logistic regression was used to analyze the relationship between women's empowerment and children's recent history of diarrhea. Among the children, 17% had experienced diarrhea recently. Children of mothers with a medium attitude towards wife-beating had 29% (AOR = 0.71; 95% CI = 0.55–0.90, p = 0.01) lower odds of experiencing diarrhea recently compared to those of mothers with a poor attitude towards wife-beating. Children of mothers with a good attitude towards wife-beating had 24% (AOR = 0.76; 95% CI = 0.60–0.97, p = 0.03) lower odds of experiencing diarrhea recently compared to those of mothers with a poor attitude towards wife-beating. Children of women with a good knowledge level had 29% (AOR = 0.71; 95% CI = 0.55–0.92, p = 0.01) lower odds of experiencing diarrhea recently compared to those of women with a poor knowledge level. Women's empowerment is still an important indicator for reducing incident of diarrhea, especially women's knowledge level and attitude towards wife-beating components. Increasing women's knowledge level and good attitude toward wife-beating in societies would be a good way to help improve children's health with regard to experiencing diarrhea. Therefore, improving women's participation in joint decision making at family level are needed to improve the health of their children.
- Women's empowerment