All Title Author
Keywords Abstract

Contraceptive Use in Ghana: What about Women Empowerment?

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

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

Full-Text   Cite this paper   Add to My Lib


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.


[1]  Population Division, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, United Nations (2015) Trends in Contraceptive Use Worldwide 2015 (ST/ESA/SER.A/349).
[2]  Rutstein, S. and Winter, R. (2015) Contraception Needed to Avoid High-Fertility-Risk Births, and Maternal and Child Deaths That Would Be Averted. DHS Analytical Studies No. 50, ICF International, Rockville.
[3]  Hogue, N. (2007) Trends in the Determinants of the Choice of a Contraceptive Method in Ghana, 1988-2003. American Sociology Association, New York.
[4]  Ghana Health Service, Ghana Statistical Service and ICF International (2015) Ghana Demographic and Health Survey 2014. GSS, GHS, and ICF International, Rockville.
[5]  Malhotra, A., Schuler, S.R. and Boender, C. (2002) Measuring Women’s Empowerment as a Variable in International Development. The World Bank, Washington DC.
[6]  United Nations and Republic of Ghana (2015) Ghana Millennium Development Goals 2015 Report. United Nations and Ghana.
[7]  Odoi-Agyarko, H. (2003) Profile of Reproductive Health Situation in Ghana. WHO, Geneva.
[8]  WHO (2014) The Country Cooperation Strategy. WHO, Geneva.
[9]  Momsen, J.H. (2004) Gender and Development. Routledge, London.
[10]  Oxfam (1995) The Oxfam Handbook of Relief and Development. Oxfam, Oxford.
[11]  UNDP (1998) Human Development Report. Oxford University Press, New York.
[12]  Kabeer, N. (2005) Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment: A Critical Analysis of the Third Millennium Development Goal. Gender and Development, 13, 13-24.
[13]  Hameed, W., Azmat, S.K., Ali, M., Sheikh, M.I., Abbas, G., et al. (2014) Women’s Empowerment and Contraceptive Use: The Role of Independent versus Couples’ Decision-Making, from a Lower Middle Income Country Perspective. PLoS ONE, 9, e104633.
[14]  Kishor, S. and Johnson, K. (2005) Women at the Nexus of Poverty and Violence: How Unique Is Their Disadvantage? In: Kishor, S., Ed., A Focus on Gender: Collected Papers on Gender Using DHS Data, ORC Macro, Calverton, 147-180.
[15]  Ghana Statistical Service (2008) Ghana Living Standards Survey 5’. Ghana Statistical Service, Accra.
[16]  Awumbila, M (2000) Women and Gender Equality in Ghana: A Situational Analysis. In: Tsikata, D., Ed., Gender Training in Ghana: Politics, Issues and Tools, Woeli Publishing Services, Accra.
[17]  Ministry of Women and Children’s Affairs (MOWAC) (2004) Ghana’s Second Progress Report on the Implementation of the African and Beijing Platform of Action and Review Report for Beijing+10. MOWAC, Accra.
[18]  Ghana Statistical Service (GSS), Ghana Health Service (GHS) and ICF Macro (2009) Ghana Demographic and Health Survey 2008. GSS, GHS and ICF Macro, Accra.
[19]  Blunch, N.H. (2008) Human Capital, Religion and Contraceptive Use in Ghana. Paper Presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for the Study of Religion, Economics, and Culture, Lee University, Lexington.
[20]  Nketiah-Amponsah, E., Arthur E. and Abuosi, A. (2013) Correlates of Contraceptive Use among Ghanaian Women of Reproductive Age (15 - 49 Years). African Journal of Reproductive Health, 16, 154-166.
[21]  Adjei, D., Sarfo, J.O. and Asiedu, M. (2014) Predictors of Contraceptive Use in Ghana: Role of Religion, Region of Residence, Ethnicity and Education. Journal of Advocacy, Research and Education, 1, 3-7.
[22]  Nyarko, S.H. (2015) Prevalence and Correlates of Contraceptive Use among Female Adolescents in Ghana. BMC Women’s Health, 15, 60.
[23]  Fishbein, M. and Ajzen, I. (2010) Predicting and Changing Behaviour: The Reasoned Action Approach. Psychology Press, New York.
[24]  Ajzen, I. (1991) The Theory of Planned Behaviour. Organisational Behaviour and Human Decision Processes, 50, 179-211.
[25]  Bryan, A., Ruiz, M.S. and O’Neill, D.O. (2003) HIV-Related Behaviors among Prison Inmates: A Theory of Planned Behavior Analysis. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 33, 2565-2586.
[26]  Povey, R., Conner, M., Sparks, P., et al. (2000) Application of the Theory of Planned Behavior to Two Dietary Behaviors: Roles of Perceived Control and Self-Efficacy. British Journal of Health Psychology, 5, 121-139.
[27]  Kridli, S.A.O. and Libbus, K. (2002) Establishing Reliability and Validity of an Instrument Measuring Jordanian Muslim Women’s Contraceptive Beliefs. Healthcare for Women International, 23, 870-881.
[28]  Reinecke, J., Schmidt, P. and Ajzen, I. (1996) Application of the Theory of Planned Behavior to Adolescents’ Condom Use: A Panel Study. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 26, 749-772.
[29]  Godin, G. and Kok, G. (1996) The Theory of Planned Behavior: A Review of Applications to Health Related Behaviors. American Journal of Health Promotion, 11, 87-98.
[30]  Armitage, C.J. and Conner, M. (2001) Efficacy of the Theory of Planned Behaviour: A Meta-Analytic Review. British Journal of Social Psychology, 40, 471-499.
[31]  Peyman, N. and Oakley, D. (2009) Effective Contraceptive Use: An Exploration of Theory-Based Influences. Health Education Research, 24, 575-585.
[32]  Bechtel, R. and Churchman, A. (2002) Handbook of Environmental Psychology. John Wiley, New York.
[33]  Winter, D.D. and Koger, S.M. (2004) The Psychology of Environmental Problems. Lawrence Erlbaum, Hillside.
[34]  Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) and UNDP (2013) 2010 Population & Housing Census Report. Millennium Development Goals in Ghana, Accra.
[35]  Dixon, J., Tenkorang, E.Y., Luginaah, I.N., Kuuire, V.Z. and Boateng, G.O. (2014) National Health Insurance Scheme Enrolment and Antenatal Care among Women in Ghana: Is There Any Relationship? Tropical Medicine & International Health, 19, 98-106.
[36]  Patrikar, S.R., Basannar, D.R. and Sharma, M.S. (2014) Women Empowerment and Use of Contraception. Medical Journal Armed Forces India, 70, 253-256.
[37]  Kidayi, P.L., Msuya, S., Todd, J., Mtuya, C.C., Mtuy, T. and Mahande, M.J. (2015) Determinants of Modern Contraceptive Use among Women of Reproductive Age in Tanzania: Evidence from Tanzania Demographic and Health Survey Data. Advances in Sexual Medicine, 5, 43-52.
[38]  Laili, I., Ilene, S.S. and Jean-Christophe, F. (2014) Relationship Characteristics and Contraceptive Use among Couples in Urban Kenya. International Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, 40, 11-20.
[39]  OlaOlorun, F.M. and Hindin, M.J. (2014) Having a Say Matters: Influence of Decision-Making Power on Contraceptive Use among Nigerian Women Ages 35 - 49 Years. PLoS ONE, 9, e98702.
[40]  Michael, E.J. (2012) Use of Contraceptives Methods among Women in Stable Marital Relations Attending Health Facilities in Kahama District, Shinyanga Region, Tanzania. A Dissertation Submitted in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Public Health of Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences, 8-30.
[41]  Nigatu, D.T. and Segni, M.T. (2016) Barriers to Contraceptive Use among Child Bearing Women in Ambo Town, West Shewa Zone, Oromia Regional State, Ethiopia, Gynecology & Obstetrics, 6, 2-5.
[42]  Khan, R.E. and Khan, T. (2007) How a Married Woman’s Characteristics Affect Her Contraceptive Behavior? Journal of Applied Sciences, 7, 2782-2787.
[43]  Rahayu, R., Utomo, I. and McDonald, P. (2009) Contraceptive Use Pattern among Married Women in Indonesia. International Conference on Family Planning: Research and Best Practices, Kampala, 15-18 November 2009.


comments powered by Disqus