Women’s Empowerment, Socioeconomic Status and Demographic Factors of Contraception in Amhara National Regional State, Ethiopia: A Sequential Analysis


  • Getachew Nibret Tewabe Assistant Professor at the Department of Population Studies, University of Gondar, Ethiopia
  • Kassahun Tegegne Gesese Associate Professor at the Department of Population Studies, University of Gondar, Ethiopia


Women, empowerment, contraception, socioeconomic status


The direct measures of women’s empowerment are recently emerged as a key factor influencing utilization
of family planning services in developing countries. Women’s education and employment used as
proxy measures of women’s empowerment, however, not sufficient to capture gender power relations
and the way in which reproductive behaviours are governed. The purpose of the study was to examine
the potential importance of women’s empowerment, socioeconomic status, and demographic factors in
contraceptive utilization in Amhara National Regional State, Ethiopia. The study employed community-
based cross-sectional study design and used the total of 2,214 currently married women of reproductive
age selected by a four-stage cluster selection. Data management and analysis was carried out
using STATA 12. A sequential of Binary Logistic Regression model was used to analyze the data. The
findings illustrated all women’s empowerment indices that remain significant after controlling for socioeconomic
status and demographic indicators. The odds of modern contraception was higher for mobility
freedom (OR = 1.30, 95% CI = 1.09-1.55); financial autonomy (OR = 1.99, 95% CI = 1.85-2.33); access
to resources (OR = 1.74, 95% CI = 1.58-1.94); and free from spousal violence (OR = 1.45, 95% CI = 1.16-
1.73). In addition, the odds of modern contraception was higher for secondary and above education
(OR = 3.15, 95% CI = 2.38-3.89) and employed for cash (OR = 3.26, 95% CI = 2.65-3.99). In conclusion,
women’s empowerment influences modern contraception independent of socioeconomic and demographic
factors. Therefore, initiatives to improve women’s position, both to attain gender equality and
to promote empowerment in contraceptive use is required. In addition, improving women’s education
and employment play a dual role in enhancing empowerment in utilization of family planning services.