We sought to understand whether women’s empowerment and male partner engagement were associated with use of antenatal care (ANC). Women presenting for ANC in Nyanza province of Kenya between June 2015 and May 2016, were approached for participation. A total of 137 pregnant women and 96 male partners completed baseline assessments. Women’s empowerment was measured using the modified Sexual Relationship Power Scale. ANC use measures included timing of the first ANC visit and number of visits. Male engagement was based on whether a husband reported accompanying his wife to one or more antenatal visits during the pregnancy. Multiple linear and logistic regression analyses were used to identify factors independently related to use and timing of ANC. Women with higher mean empowerment scores were likely to have more than one ANC visit in the index pregnancy [Adjusted Odds Ratio (AOR) = 2.8, 95% Confidence Interval (CI): 1.1–7.3], but empowerment was not associated with early ANC use. Women who were more empowered were less likely to have a husband who reported attending an ANC visit with his wife (AOR = 0.1, 95% CI: 0.03–0.8). Women’s empowerment is important and may be related to ANC use and engagement of male partners in complex ways.
Bello, F. O., Musoke, P., Kwena, Z., Owino, G. O., Bukusi, E. A., Darbes, L., & Turan, J. M. (2019). The role of women's empowerment and male engagement in pregnancy healthcare seeking behaviors in western Kenya. Women & health, 59(8), 892–906. https://doi.org/10.1080/03630242.2019.1567644
Women and Health