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Does Female Autonomy Affect Contraceptive Use among Women in Northern Nigeria?

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Literature identified female empowerment as a predictor of positive health behaviour. However, in the context of conservative and traditional society, this is yet to be explored. This paper explores the role of female autonomy in contraceptive use among currently married women in northern Nigeria. Nationally representative Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS, 2013) data for 18,534 currently married women in northern Nigeria was analysed. Complimentary log-logistic regression (cloglog) was used to analyse the data. Current use of modern contraceptive was 6.6% among currently married women in northern Nigeria. Results show that female autonomy was significantly associated with modern contraceptive use. Respondents' education, wealth status and desire for no more children were associated with higher contraceptive use. Despite the conservative and religious context of northern Nigeria, female autonomy significantly predicts modern contraceptive use. Thus, empowering women in northern Nigeria, especially by education, will enable them to participate in healthy contraceptive decision making.

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