Contraceptive Uptake Among Married Women in Uganda: Does Empowerment Matter?

  • Simon P.S Kibira Makerere University
  • Patricia Ndugga Makerere University
  • Elizabeth Nansubuga Makerere University,
  • Andrew Sewannonda Makerere University
  • Betty Kwagala Makerere University
Keywords: Women, Empowerment, Contraceptives, Reproductive health, Uganda


Although contraceptive prevalence increased from 24% to 30% between 2006 and 2011, this uptake is still below global level of 62% and low levels of women empowerment could be a factor. Data was extracted from 2011 UDHS to examine associations between women’s empowerment and contraceptive uptake. We developed four empowerment indices symbolising economic and social empowerment, established associations between them and contraceptive use. Most women (83%) were from the rural areas and 61% were married for 10+ years. Most (59%) scored low on power over earnings and domestic violence indices. All indices independently were positively associated with contraceptive use, but only the reproductive health rights index was significant before (OR 2.13, 95% CI; 1.52-2.98) and after adjusting for background characteristics (AOR 1.72, 95% CI; 1.07-2.73). Empowered women were more likely to use contraceptives. More efforts in sensitisation of women about their sexual and reproductive health rights as well as ensuring more control over their earnings. 

Author Biographies

Simon P.S Kibira, Makerere University
School of Public HealthDepartment of Community Health and Behavioural Sciences
Patricia Ndugga, Makerere University
School of Statistics and PlanningDepartment of Population Studies
Elizabeth Nansubuga, Makerere University,
School of Statistics and PlanningDepartment of Population Studies
Andrew Sewannonda, Makerere University
School of Statistics and Planning Department of Population Studies
Betty Kwagala, Makerere University
School of Statistics and Planning, Department of Population Studies