Women’s Perception of Males’ Involvement in Maternal Healthcare in Rivers State, Nigeria

Abstract

Men play a significant role in the reproductive life of women, from the pre-pregnancy stages of family planning to pregnancy, birth and post-natal periods. This study was a survey of the perceptions of women on males’ involvement in maternal healthcare in Rivers State. This involved some selected health centres in Rivers State, using a pre-tested and validated questionnaire. Aspects of men’s involvement that were taken into consideration included decision-making, economic and geographic accessibility as well as utilization of maternal health-care services. Responses from a total of 300 pregnant and post–natal mothers who were purposively selected from randomly drawn health centres in the three Senatorial Districts in Rivers State were analyzed. The results showed no significant difference in the perceptions of women with primary or post-primary education, unemployed or employed women as well as those residing in rural or urban areas. In addition, there was a unanimous agreement that joint decision-making was better than a decision solely taken by the man or woman alone. They all agreed that financial empowerment and autonomy were crucial for enabling women to access and utilize maternal healthcare facilities. It was concluded that despite the pivotal role of men in family affairs, their involvement in maternal health process was abysmal and this could be due to some extraneous factors. The study therefore recommended that women empowerment, in terms of education and finances would go a long way towards improving maternal health which, over the years, has been on the decline, despite men’s good intentions.

Keywords: Education, Gender, Healthcare, Men, Nigeria, Women


Article Review Status: Published

Pages: 9-21 (Download PDF)

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