Examining Women’s Empowerment as a Predictor of Reproductive and Maternal Health Outcomes Among Currently Married Women of Reproductive Age in Myanmar

Amanda Landrian , University of California, Los Angeles
Marta Bornstein, University of California, Los Angeles
May Me Thet, Population Services International Myanmar
Jessica D. Gipson, University of California, Los Angeles
May Sudhinaraset, University of California, Los Angeles

Using data from the first Myanmar Demographic and Health Survey (2015-2016), we examined women's empowerment as a predictor of reproductive health outcomes, including contraceptive use, antenatal care (ANC) visits, institutional delivery, and skilled attendant at birth (SAB) among currently married women of reproductive age. Nearly two-thirds (60%) of women participated in all household decisions and had attitudes supporting wife beating, respectively. About half (51%) of women were using modern contraception, 59% attended four or more ANC visits, 41% delivered in an institutional facility, and 62% had a skilled attendant at last birth. In multivariate logistic regression models, these outcomes varied significantly by demographic factors, as well as involvement in decision making, such that women with more decision-making power had better proximate maternal health outcomes. Attitudes toward wife beating was not significantly associated with any outcome. Efforts are needed to improve women’s status and the level of involvement in family and civic decisions in Myanmar.

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 Presented in Session 10. Fertility, Family Planning, Sexual Behavior & Reproductive Health 2