Women’s Autonomy and Utilization of Maternal and Child Health Care Services in India
Kaushlendra Kumar, Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS)
Mukesh Tiwari, International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS)
The role of women’s decision-making in reproductive health cannot be ignored. Current research and policies on maternal and child health-care in India focus primarily on female education and employment, little attention is placed on women’s decision-making autonomy. In this paper women autonomy index has been constructed and women’s autonomy and their relationship to maternal and child health care utilization are investigated using data from the National Family Health Survey-3. The results of the study show that most of socio-economic factors including women's autonomy have significant influence on maternal and child health care services. Women's autonomy has strong positive association with health-care utilization. The impact of women's autonomy is not much on antenatal visit but very much on institutional delivery and child immunization. Finally, it may be concluded that women with higher autonomy are more likely to use maternal and child health care services as compared to women with low autonomy.