"Girl Power": Women's Autonomy and Children's Immunization Status in Ethiopia

Jane Ebot, University of Texas at Austin

The World Health Organization recommends that children be fully immunized by age 1 to prevent early child mortality and morbidity. Currently, 2.4 million children die each year from vaccine-preventable diseases. Improvements in women’s autonomy have been related to improvements in children’s health care and outcomes. Using multivariate logistic regressions, this study investigates the link between women's autonomy and children’s immunization status. Data for the analyses comes from a nationally representative sample of children 12-30 months (N=2,941) from the 2011 Ethiopia Demographic and Health Survey. Women's attitudes towards wife beating and household decision making abilities were used to measure individual levels of autonomy. Only 24.1% of children were fully immunized. About 50% of women said wife beating was justified in each scenario. The results showed that individual measures of wife beating and household decision making abilities were significantly associated with children's immunization status, net of socioeconomic status and background controls.

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Presented in Poster Session 2