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Global Development Institute

WP197/2014

Maternal Mortality, Religion and the Enrolment of Girls and Boys: Is there a Link?

Arusha Cooray and Stephan Klasen

We investigate empirically the impact of maternal mortality on the enrolment rate of girls and boys at the primary and secondary levels. We also examine whether the effect of maternal mortality on enrolment is strengthened or weakened by religion. Evidence shows that at both the primary and secondary levels, maternal mortality has a negative impact on the enrolment of girls and boys, with the negative greater for girls than for boys. For girls, the negative effect of maternal mortality is compounded by religion and increased fertility.