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Contraceptive Use in Ghana: What about Women Empowerment?

DOI: 10.4236/asm.2017.71004, PP. 44-64

Keywords: Contraceptives, Women Empowerment, Ghana, Decision-Making

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Abstract:

Introduction: Although contraceptive usage appears to be increasing in Ghana, 30 and 42 percent of married and unmarried women respectively still have unmet need for family planning services partly due to their inability to exercise their basic rights on fertility issues. Meanwhile, expanding freedom of choice and actions to shape women’s life is critical to how women can be autonomous about issues surrounding their fertility. On this premise, this study aimed at investigating empowerment status and usage of contraceptives among women in the reproductive age in Ghana. Methods: The study made use of the 2014 Ghana Demographic and health survey with a sample size of 9396. The outcome variable was contraceptive use whilst the main independent variable was women empowerment (measured by ability to decide on a woman’s own healthcare, large household purchases and visiting family members). Both bivariate and multivariate binary logistic regressions were carried out generating odd ratios to explore the association at 95% confidence interval. Results: The results indicated that women who were not deciding alone on their own healthcare were less probable to use contraceptives (OR = 0.92, CI = 0.80 - 1.07) as well as those who were not deciding alone on large household purchases (OR = 0.96, CI = 0.82 - 1.11) and visiting family members (OR = 0.63, CI = 0.93 - 1.25) at the bivariate level. However, at the multivariate level, higher likelihoods of contraceptive use were found among those who were not deciding alone on health (OR = 1.26, CI = 1.18 - 1.68), large household purchases (OR = 1.30, CI = 1.08 - 1.55) and visiting family members (OR = 1.32, CI = 1.12 - 1.57). Conclusion: This has inspired the need to intensify women empowerment interventions through mass media and all possible avenues in order to enhance reproductive health.

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