Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from BMC Public Health and BioMed Central.

Open Access Research article

Married women's decision making power on modern contraceptive use in urban and rural southern Ethiopia

Binyam Bogale1, Mekitie Wondafrash2, Tizta Tilahun2 and Eshetu Girma3*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Public Health, Arba Minch University, Arba Minch, Ethiopia

2 Department of Population and Family Health, Jimma University, Jimma, Ethiopia

3 Department of Health Education and Behavioral Sciences, Jimma University, Jimma, Ethiopia

For all author emails, please log on.

BMC Public Health 2011, 11:342  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-11-342

Published: 19 May 2011

Abstract

Background

Women in developing countries are either under collective decision making with their partners or completely rely on the male partner's decision on issues that affect their reproductive live. Identifying the major barriers of married women's decision making power on contraceptive use has significant relevance for planning contextually appropriate family planning interventions. The objective of this study was to determine current modern contraceptive practices and decision making power among married women in Tercha Town and surrounding rural areas of Dawro zone, Southern Ethiopia.

Methods

Community based comparative cross-sectional design with both quantitative and Qualitative study has been employed in March and April 2010. The respondents were 699 married women of child bearing age from urban and rural parts of Dawro zone. After conducting census, we took the sample using simple random sampling technique.

Results

Current modern contraceptive use among married women in the urban was 293 (87.5%) and 243 (72.8%) in rural. Married women who reside in urban area were more likely to decide on the use of modern contraceptive method than rural women. Having better knowledge about modern contraceptive methods, gender equitable attitude, better involvement in decisions related to children, socio-cultural and family relations were statistically significant factors for decision making power of women on the use of modern contraceptive methods in the urban setting. Better knowledge, fear of partner's opposition or negligence, involvement in decisions about child and economic affairs were statistically significant factors for better decision making power of women on the use of modern contraceptive methods in the rural part.

Conclusions

High level of current modern contraceptive practice with reduced urban-rural difference was found as compared to regional and national figures. Urban women had better power to make decisions on modern contraceptive than rural women. Modern family planning interventions in the area should be promoted by considering empowering of women on modern contraceptive use decision making.