Women's autonomy and husbands' involvement in maternal health care in Nepal

Social Science & Medicine
Deependra Kaji Thapa, Anke Niehof


Both increasing women's autonomy and increasing husbands' involvement in maternal health care are promising strategies to enhance maternal health care utilization. However, these two may be at odds with each other insofar as autonomous women may not seek their husband's involvement, and involved husbands may limit women's autonomy. This study assessed the relationship between women's autonomy and husbands' involvement in maternal health care. Field work for this study was carried out during September-November 2011 in the Kailali district of Nepal. In-depth interviews and focus group discussions were used to investigate the extent of husbands' involvement in maternal health care. A survey was carried out among 341 randomly selected women who delivered a live baby within one year prior to the survey. The results show that husbands were involved in giving advice, supporting to reduce the household work burden, and making financial and transportation arrangements for the delivery. After adjustment for other covariates, economic autonomy was associated with lower likelihood of discussion with husband during pregnancy, while domestic decision-making autonomy was associated with both lower likelihood of discussion with husband during ...Continue Reading


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Cultural Characteristics
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