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Women Decision Making Autonomy as a Facilitating Factor for Contraceptive Use for Family Planning in Pakistan
Authors: Muhammad Nadeem, Muhammad Irfan Malik, Mumtaz Anwar, and Sobia Khurram
Source: Social Indicators Research, DOI:
Topic(s): Contraception
Family planning
Women's autonomy
Country: Asia
Published: FEB 2021
Abstract: Pakistan is 5th most populous country in the world and striving to achieve population equilibrium. Unfortunately, one in five women in Pakistan has not been using contraceptives and thus bearing unwanted pregnancies. Female’s participation in their own matters and benefits from social, economic, and political spheres has remained very low. Gender inequality is often cited as a barrier to improving women’s sexual and reproductive health outcomes, including contraceptive use. Pakistan is ranked at 148th place out of the 149 countries in Global Gender Gap Report 2018, which indicates very high gender inequality. Keeping in view this fact, we investigated the impact of women’s decision-making autonomy on contraceptive use among married women age 15–49 years in Pakistan. Pakistan Demographic and Health Survey 2018 data has been used for analysis by using descriptive statistics, association tests, and multiple logistic regression. Women’s participation in making four household decisions: access to health care; large household purchases; what to do with the husband earning and freedom to visit family and relatives have been used as women’s decision-making autonomy. The results indicated that women’s decision-making autonomy has been positively associated with contraceptive use. Women’s age, province of residence, education level, household wealth status, number of children, time since last sex, and awareness about family planning services have also been found statistically significantly associated with contraceptive use. The current study suggests integrating the interventions for women's decision-making autonomy into family planning programs. For this purpose, the development of community-based awareness programs for women’s decision-making autonomy and contraceptive use could be useful interventions to achieve population equilibrium.