Women less involved in decision making more likely to attend postnatal clinic (Rwanda)

Rwanda postnatal

In an analysis of data from 2748 mothers in Rwanda from the 2010 Demographic and Health Survey, a surprising correlation was found: married mothers not influencing decision making about their health at home were more likely to return to the clinic within seven days of the birth.

This appears to contradict the common understanding that women want to attend, but other family members stand in the way. It is the second study in Rwanda that finds this phenomenon.

The authors hypothesise that in Rwanda “male-headed households have greater ability to overcome social and economic barriers to health care than female-headed households”.


Rwabufigiri BN, Mukamurigo J, Thomson DR, Hedt-Gautier BL & Semasaka JS (2016), Factors associated with postnatal care utilisation in Rwanda: A secondary analysis of 2010 Demographic and Health Survey data, BMC Pregnancy & Childbirth

Photo: World Bank Photo Collection. Creative Commons.