Women’s autonomy and utilization of postnatal healthcare services in three impoverished areas of Lebanon

Ghada Ibrahim, American University in Cairo
Tamar Kabakian-Khasholian, American University of Beirut

The purpose of this study is to both measure women’s autonomy and examine its impact on the pattern of reproductive healthcare seeking behavior among women. Data used in the study come from the 2003 Urban Health Survey in three impoverished communities in Beirut. A stratified random sample was used to draw a sample of 2816 households from the three communities. The eligible women refer to women aged 15 to 45 years, ever married, and delivered during the last five years. Logistic regression models were fitted to estimate the impacts of women’s autonomy after adjusting for other relevant factors. Surprisingly, the results indicate that women’s autonomy does not play a significant role in using postnatal services nor does household income. However, women’s education, work, and parity show significant associations with utilization of postnatal services. Some policy implications of the findings and measurement issues pertaining to women’s autonomy are discussed.

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Presented in Poster Session 1