Socio-Economic Background/Women Empowerment and Maternal Health in Cross River State, Nigeria: Using Data from the Ndhs 2008

Thursday, July 17, 2014: 11:45 AM
Room: Booth 54
Oral Presentation
David UGAL , Federal College of Education, Obudu, Nigeria
Gender equality and women’s empowerment are important indicators in development strategies that focus on poverty reduction and improved maternal health. Despite the importance of these factors to the overall wellbeing of women and the nation, research in this area is neglected. Besides the condition of women in relation to women empowerment, indicators have remained poor. The study used data from the latest national Demographic and Health Survey (nDHS, 2008) to examine the socio-economic condition of women in relation to their level of empowerment and as a correlate to maternal health outcome in Cross River State. The study utilized data of a representative sample of 735 women of age 15-49. A majority of respondents reported Poor/low socio-economic status ranging from low educational status, unskilled occupation, low income per month, seasonal employment  etc and this affected the level of empowerment in all the indicators. These are women’s participation in household decision making, their attitude towards wife beating and their attitude towards a wife’s right to refuse sexual intercourse with her husband or partner. This condition is manifested in high maternal morbidity, mortality, inability to determine number of children, spacing and antenatal care options available to them. This is in line with the prevalent scenario in the entire country. There is therefore an urgent need for improving and enhancing women socio-economic condition as it will improve their level of empowerment  and will bring about better maternal health status.