Women’s autonomy and maternal health service utilization among the women’s having less than two years age children in Rautahat district, Nepal

Sanjaya Kumar Shah, Neelima Yadav, Richa Shah, Ramesh Bhatta, Rajesh Karki, Anil Chaudhary, Josana Khanal, Rajesh Kumar Gupta


Background: Maternal health refers to the health of women during pregnancy, childbirth and the postpartum period. Despite various attempts and schemes made by government. maternal mortality remains as one of the biggest public health challenges in Nepal. The aim of the study was to assess the association of women autonomy with maternal health service utilization among the women having 2 years children in Paroha municipality ward no. 3 and 4, Rautahat, Nepal.

Methods: Cross sectional study was conducted. Simple random sampling was used to select respondents. Data were collected through face to face interview. Data were entered in Epi data and analyzed using SPSS. Chi square test was applied to test the significance of association at 95% confidence interval.  

Results: Majority (76.8%) of the respondents had antenatal care visit and more than half of them had four or more antenatal care visits. similarly, overwhelming majority (88.4%) of the birth were institutional delivery. Almost (91%) of the women had postnatal care visit for their last child. The study indicates that almost (95.5%) of the decisions were made without the involvement of the women. Most of women had medium level autonomy in all aspect (score= 17-32). Autonomy was positively associated with use of maternal health services i.e.; ANC visit (p=0.000), place of delivery (p=0.036), PNC visit (p=0.045).

Conclusions: Findings of the study show that if women autonomy will be higher, there will be increase in maternal service utilization. Whereas autonomy has link with better education and employment opportunity of the women.


Women’s autonomy, Maternal health, Service utilization

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