Women’s Autonomy and Utilization of Maternal and Child Health Care Services in India
Kaushlendra Kumar, International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS)
Mukesh Tiwari, International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS)
The role of women’s decision making in reproductive health cannot be ignored. Current research and policies on maternal and child health care in India focus primarily on female education and employment. Little attention is placed on women’s decision-making autonomy. This study constructs a women's autonomy index and investigates women’s autonomy and its relationship to maternal and child health care utilization using data from the National Family Health Survey-3. The results of the study show that most socio-economic factors including women's autonomy have a significant influence on maternal and child health care services. Women's autonomy has a strong positive association with health care utilization. The impact of women's autonomy is low for antenatal visits, but high for institutional delivery and child immunization. It may be concluded that women with higher autonomy are more likely to use maternal and child health care services than are women with low autonomy.
Presented in Session 40: Gender and Reproductive Health