Role of Female Labor Force Participation in Child Health


  • Mabrooka Altaf Ph.D. Scholar
  • Tusawar Iftikhar Ahmad Assistant Professor, Department of Economics, The Islamia University of Bahawalpur, Pakistan
  • Muhammad Azhar Bhatti Associate Lecturer, Department of Economics, The Islamia University of Bahawalpur, Pakistan



Female Labor force Participation, Child Immunization, Mother’s Education, Woman Empowerment, Household Poverty


The objective of the study is to investigate the impact of female labor force participation on child (under 5-years of age) health in Pakistan. Child health was gauged through child immunization coverage status measured by recording receipt of 22 doses of eight basic vaccines.  A micro data set (i.e., 5872 children) from Pakistan Demographic Health Survey (PDHS) 2017-2018 was utilized for the study. As per recommendations of the World Health Organization, if a child had received all the 22 doses of those eight important vaccinations, he/she was assumed as highly immunized, and vice versa. The impact of mothers’ employment and other explanatory variables, on child health, was investigated using Ordered logistic regression. The child with higher birth order (OR = 0.927; p-value = 0.000), the child of not-working mother (OR = 0.829; p-value = 0.012), the child of illiterate mothers (OR = 0.606; p-value = 0.000), the child of the mother having no own mobile phone (OR = 0.793; p-value = 0.000), and the child belonged to the poorest family (OR = 0.535; p-value = 0.000) had less likelihood of immunization coverage. Mother’s age (OR = 1.055; p-value = 0.005), number of ANC visits made by the mother (OR = 0.925; p-value = 0.000), and male gender of the child (OR = 1.086; p-value = 0.082) had more probabilities for child immunization coverage. Hence, there is a need to alleviate poverty and gender discrimination as well as to create  opportunities to increase female education, awareness, and labor force participation for better outcomes relating to child health.