Does Financial Autonomy Imply Reproductive and Sexual Autonomy? Evidence From Urban Poor Women in Accra, Ghana

Naa Dodua Dodoo , University of Ghana
Donatus Yaw Atiglo, Regional Institute for Population Studies
Adriana A. Biney, University of Ghana
Nurudeen Alhassan, African Institute for Development Policy (AFIDEP)
Maame Peterson, Pennsylvania State University and the University of Ghana
Francis Dodoo, Pennsylvania State University

This paper investigates the association between financial autonomy and three other measures of autonomy – sexual, perceived reproductive and actual reproductive autonomy in Ga-Mashie, Accra, Ghana. Anthropological accounts have cited the financial independence of women from this community, coupled with unique living arrangements, as reasons for their independence and autonomy in various domains. Using a sample of 172 women in union, binary and ordered logistic regression models reveal that in this context, financial autonomy does not have the perceived effect of increasing autonomy in the three other spheres. Rather, measures that hint at egalitarianism and close marital relationships- namely, marital power, agreement with partners about reproductive issues and marital duration- are more significantly associated with sexual and reproductive autonomy. We conclude that, coupled with schemes to increase the financial autonomy of women, in this context, other measures aimed at improving marital relationships should be explored and encouraged.

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 Presented in Session 33. Education, Employment, and Sexual and Reproductive Behavior