Msuya, Sia E., Juma Adinan, and Neema Mosha. 2014. Intimate Partner Violence and Empowerment among Women in Tanzania: Prevalence and Effects on Utilization of Reproductive and Maternal Health Services. DHS Working Papers No. 106. Rockville, Maryland, USA: ICF International.
Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a public health concern in Tanzania because of its prevalence and documented negative effect on pregnancy outcomes. There has been limited information available in Tanzania on the relationship between IPV and women’s use of reproductive and maternal health services. This study uses data from the most recent DHS survey
in Tanzania to examine the associations between IPV, women’s empowerment, and use of reproductive and maternal health services, taking into account the effects of key socio-demographic variables.
The study analyzed the data on 4,471 currently married or cohabiting women age 15–49 interviewed with the domestic violence module in the 2010 Tanzania Demographic and Health Survey (TDHS). Thirty-nine percent of the women reported physical or sexual violence by their current partner at least once. Thirty percent of the women were defined as “empowered”
according to participation in household decision-making.
After controlling for other factors, women’s empowerment was found to be associated with 1) use of modern contraceptive methods, 2) having four or more antenatal care visits, and 3) use of a skilled birth attendant during delivery. No significant associations were found between IPV and the use of any of these three reproductive and maternal health services.
The findings suggest that in Tanzania women’s empowerment has a strong influence on their use of reproductive and maternal health services. To improve women’s health and that of their children there is a need for multi-sector collaboration in developing programs and interventions to improve women’s empowerment, increase educational attainment, and reduce