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Women empowerment and its relation with health seeking behavior in Bangladesh
journal contributionposted on 15.01.2020, 00:00 by AKM Mainuddin, HA Begum, Lal Rawal, A Islam, SM Shariful Islam
Over the last few decades, Bangladesh has made significant progress towards achieving targets for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and women empowerment. This study is aimed at identifying the levels and patterns of women empowerment in relation to health seeking behavior in Bangladesh.Materials and methods:We conducted a cross-sectional study among 200 rural married women in Cox's Bazar district in Bangladesh using multi stage sampling technique and face-to-face interview. Data was collected on socio-economic characteristics, proxy indicators for women empowerment in mobility and health seeking behavior related decision making. Bivariate and multivariate regression analyses were performed to identify associations between women empowerment in relation to health seeking behavior on mobility and decision making, controlling the effect of other independent variables.Results:The results showed that only 12% women were empowered to decide on their own about seeking healthcare and 8.5% in healthcare seeking for their children. In multivariate analysis women empowerment in health seeking behavior was higher among age group 25-34 years (OR 1.76, [CI = 0.82-3.21]), women's education, husband's education, age at marriage > 18 years (OR 6.38, [CI = 0.98-4.21]) and women's working status (OR 16.44, [CI = 0.79-2.71]).Conclusion:Women empowerment enhances their decision-making authority regarding health seeking behavior. Acknowledging and adopting the implications of these findings are essential for an integrated health and development strategy for Bangladesh and achieving the MDGs.