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Women's access to health care in Ghana: Effects of education, residence, lineage and self-determination
Authors: John Boateng, and Constance Flanagan
Source: Biodemography and Social Biology, 54(1):56-73. doi: 10.1080/19485565.2008.9989132.
Topic(s): Health care utilization
Health equity
Women's health
Country: Africa
Published: MAY 2008
Abstract: Women's physical and psychological access to health care was analyzed using the 2003 Ghana Demographic and Health Survey (GDHS), a nationally representative study for monitoring population and health in Ghana. Female respondents from the 2133 cases in the couple's data set were used in this study. Women's level of education was positively related to physical but not to psychological access to health care. Residing in an urban area was positively related to both types of access. Matriliny consistently showed positive effects on physical access. In addition to these demographic factors, both physical and psychological access were positively related to women's self-determination, i.e., women's right and ability to make real choices about their lives including their health, fertility, sexuality, childcare and all areas where women are denied autonomy and dignity in their identities as women. Self-determination factors both mediated the effects of background factors on access and added explanatory power to the models.