Influence of Women’s Autonomy and Access to Health Services on Maternal Health Care Utilization in Rural India

Mona Sharan, Johns Hopkins University
Saifuddin Ahmed, Johns Hopkins University
Donna Strobino, Johns Hopkins University

The study examined whether the influence of women’s autonomy is moderated by health service access in influencing maternal health care utilization in rural India. The association between women’s autonomy, access to health facilities, and the interaction between women’s autonomy and health facility access on maternal health care utilization was tested. Multi-level logistic regression models were used to test the hypotheses. The findings show that higher levels of women’s autonomy increased the odds of seeking antenatal care, postnatal care, and delivering in a health facility. A higher level of access to a health facility increased odds of women receiving antenatal care, postnatal care and delivering in a health facility. The interaction between health service access and autonomy was complementary. High access to facilities and high women’s autonomy (relative to low access and low autonomy) was associated with increased odds for all outcomes.

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Presented in Session 132: Gender and Health in Developing Countries