Place Matters: Community Level Effects of Women’s Autonomy on Ethiopian Children’s Immunization Status

  • Jane O Ebot University of Texas at Austin
Keywords: Autonomy, Children, Community, Ethiopia, Immunizations


Over 75% of Ethiopian children are not fully immunized against infectious diseases and illnesses. Studies have shown that women’s autonomy, or decision-making abilities, is related to improvements in children’s health. Yet the extent to which community-context measures of women’s autonomy affect children’s health has yet to receive adequate attention. This study uses data from the 2011 Ethiopia Demographic and Health Survey to investigate the relationship between individual- and community-levels of women’s autonomy and children’s -- aged 12-30 months -- immunization status. The results of multilevel Poisson regression analysis show that community-level women’s autonomy is associated with an increased number of children’s immunizations above and beyond that of individual-level women’s autonomy. Overall, these results indicate that empowering women within households is not only an important mechanism through which improvements in children’s health can be made, but also serves as a way to improve the lives of other children within the community. 

Author Biography

Jane O Ebot, University of Texas at Austin
Department of Sociology and Population Research Center