Gender inequality has been documented as a key driver of negative health outcomes, especially among women. However, studies have not clearly examined the role of gender inequality in maternal health in an African setting. Therefore, the authors of this study examined the role of gender inequality, indicated by lack of female autonomy, in exposing women to maternal health risk. Data were obtained from the 2007 Zambia Demographic and Health Survey on a weighted sample of 3,906 married or partnered women aged 15–49 years. Multivariable analyses revealed that low autonomy in household decision power was associated with maternal health risk (Odds Ratio (OR) = 1.52, p < .001). Autonomy interacted with household wealth showed that respondents who were in the wealthier households and had low autonomy in household decision power (OR = 2.03, p < .05) were more likely to be exposed to maternal health risk than their counterparts who had more autonomy. Efforts to lower women’s exposure to maternal mortality and morbidity in Zambia should involve interventions to alter prevailing gender norms that limit women’s active participation in decisions about their own health during pregnancy and delivery.