Effects of Women’s Autonomy and Male Involvement on Reproductive and Child Health (RCH) Service Utilization in Uttar Pradesh

Type Journal Article - Open Journal of Preventive Medicine
Title Effects of Women’s Autonomy and Male Involvement on Reproductive and Child Health (RCH) Service Utilization in Uttar Pradesh
Volume 6
Issue 11
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2016
Page numbers 260-271
URL http://www.scirp.org/journal/PaperInformation.aspx?paperID=72190
Introduction: Effective utilization of reproductive and child health (RCH) services is important to reduce morbidity and mortality among mothers as well as children under-five. After International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), 1994 India has increasingly integrated male participation in women’s reproductive health to improve the women’s health care during pregnancy and child birth. This study examined effect of women’s autonomy and male involvement on RCH services utilization in Uttar Pradesh State of India. Methodology: State level data of Uttar Pradesh from National Family Health Survey (NFHS-3), India for currently married women and men aged 15 - 49 years was considered. The study was restricted to couples whose youngest child was born during the three years preceding the survey (N = 2685). Pearson chi-square test was used to determine the association of background characteristics with woman’s autonomy and male involvement in RCH utilization. Logistic regression was used to understand the effects of male involvement and women’s autonomy, using both computed indices after controlling for socio-economic and background characteristics of women and their husbands. Subsequently, the exercise was extended using individual component of both the indices. All findings were reported for 95% CI and p < 0.05. Results: Findings show that except religion, other socio-economic and demographic variables such as age of women, place of residence, number of living children, caste/tribe, women’s work status, education, wealth index, household structure and exposure to mass media, husband’s age, education, and occupation were statistically significant and associated with women’s autonomy and male involvement. Multivariate analysis indicated women’s autonomous decision making and support from their husbands (male involvement) significantly influenced their utilization of RCH services after controlling for all socio-economic and demographic variables. Conclusion: To improve RCH service utilization and overall health status of women and children male involvement and women’s autonomous decision-making should be addressed in all future RCH programs in the State.

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