Women's position within the household and maternal health care utilization in Uttar Pradesh, India
Kaushlendra Kumar, International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS)
Although gender inequality is often cited as a barrier to improving maternal health in India, little attention has been directed at understanding how socio-cultural factors may influence the use of health care. Bi-variate analysis and multivariate regression model is used to assess the relationship of these variables to receipt of skilled antenatal and delivery care by using National Family Health Survey (NFHS), 2005-06. The findings of the study show that only 27 percent women in Uttar Pradesh decide themselves on their own health care. Few women reported participation in household decision making, and only 32 percent had any control over their own earnings. Though associations were not consistent across all indicators, employment & influence over earnings was linked to an increased likelihood of receiving skilled antenatal and delivery care. The strong association of women’s education with health care use draws attention to the need for efforts to increase women’s schooling.