Maternal Health in Resource-Poor Urban Settings: How Does Women’s Autonomy Influence the Utilization of Obstetric Care Services?

Hildah M. Essendi, African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC)

This paper uses ordered logit models and data from a maternal health study carried out in two slums of Nairobi, to investigate the following questions: 1) How does women’s autonomy influence the choice of place of delivery in urban poor resource settings? 2) Does its effect vary by household wealth? and 3) To what extent does it mediate the relationship between women’s education and use of health facility for delivery. Preliminary results show that the influence of women’s autonomy on the utilization of maternal health services among poor women in Nairobi is rather weak. Interactions between household wealth and autonomy further indicate that higher autonomy is associated with better use of maternity services among the middle- and least poor-wealth groups, and with poorer utilization among the poorest. Finally, women’s autonomy does not emerge to be a mediator of the link between education and use of health services for delivery.

  See paper

Presented in Poster Session 6