Inequality at home between men and women leads to poorer health for the children and greater poverty for the family, says a new study.
The UN children's agency, Unicef, found that where women are excluded from family decisions, children are more likely to be under-nourished.
There would be 13m fewer malnourished children in South Asia if women had an equal say in the family, Unicef said.
Unicef surveyed family decision-making in 30 countries around the world.
Their chief finding is that equality between men and women is essential to lowering poverty and improving health, especially of children, in developing countries.
The conclusions are contained in the agency's State of the World's Children 2007 report.
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