Mothers’ work, family roles and self-reported health in peri-urban Ghana and Ethiopia

Funmilola M OlaOlorun, Amy Tsui, Easmon Otupiri, Assefa Seme, Elizabeth Tobey, Freya Sonenstein


We test the associations between peri-urban mothers’ paid work and reported health in Asawase, Ghana and Sebeta, Ethiopia using data from the Family Health and Wealth Study. The analytic sample is 608 and 667 mothers in Asawase and Sebeta respectively, aged 15 to 49. Dependent measures are self-rated health (SRH), self-reported health problems (SRHP), and chronic disease (CD) status. Independent variables include work/remuneration status. Bivariate and multivariate analyses are presented. Our results showed that in Asawase and Sebeta respectively, 88.3% and 80.1% of mothers had no CD; 88.3% and 91.9% reported very good/good health; 73.4% and 55.5% had no health problems. Ethiopian mothers remunerated for their work other than by cash alone reported better health, on all three outcomes compared with their non-working counterparts [CD-AOR (95%CI):1.98(1.18-3.33); SRH: 3.49(1.39-8.80); SRHP: 1.40(1.04-1.88)]. Findings from Ghana were not as clear. Investigation of women’s multiple family roles is warranted to understand pathways to better health.


self-rated health; self-reported health problems; chronic disease; mother’s work; family roles

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