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In Ethiopia, women’s participation in their own matters and women’s benefit from social, economic and political spheres is low. Traditional, social and economic values constrain the rights of women and their opportunities to direct their own lives or participate in and contribute to community and national development (Bogalech and Mengistu, 2007). Gender imbalances exist in the division of labour, access to resources, distribution of income, and decision-making. In the history of Ethiopia, women are primarily tasked with food production and other household level activities. Rights to land, credit, and other productive resources are difficult for women to attain. In 1993, the government of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia (FDRE) issued the National Ethiopian Policy on Women and granted equal rights for women under the constitution. Moreover, a new family law was recently instituted focusing on the
advancement of women, affirmative action, and provision for higher education, employment and promotion in the workplace (FDRE, 1993).
The 2011 Ethiopia Demographic and Health Survey (EDHS) collected data related to women’s empowerment and contraceptive use, which provides an
excellent opportunity to study this relationship in the Ethiopian context. The various dimensions of empowerment –economic, socio-cultural, familial/interpersonal, legal, political and psychological– may each influence the reproductive health of women. Despite high fertility and a high unmet need for family planning the country contraceptive prevalence rate for married women is very low (28.6%). This study will explore the relationship between major dimensions of women’s empowerment and their use of contraception.