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Women's autonomy, education and birth intervals in India: Visiting the less familiar
Authors: Santosh Jatrana, and Samba Siva Rao Pasupuleti
Source: Asian Population Studies, 11(2):172-190, DOI: 10.1080/17441730.2015.1050083
Topic(s): Birth interval
Contraception
Education
Women's autonomy
Country: Asia
  India
Published: JUN 2015
Abstract: Using data from the third National Family Health Survey (NFHS-3) on currently married fecund women who have had at least one birth during 2001–2002 and Cox-proportional hazard models, this study examines the less researched association between women's autonomy and birth-to-conception intervals in India. It also examines whether women's autonomy mediates or moderates the relationship between education and birth-to-conception interval. Our results indicate that after adjusting for demographic and socioeconomic factors, women's autonomy was a significant predictor of birth-to-conception intervals, with higher autonomy positively associated with larger birth-to-conception intervals. Education of women was also independently associated with longer birth-to-conception intervals. However, this study did not provide any support to the general perception that women's autonomy mediates the association between women's education and birth-to-conception interval. Women's autonomy rather than being a mediator acted as a moderator in this association. Policy measures to increase the spacing between births should emphasise not only improving the education of women but also their autonomy. KEYWORDS • Women's autonomy, • women's education, • birth interval, • India, • contraceptive use, • Cox regression