Women’s Empowerment, Educational Attainment, and Contraceptive Use in Latin American/Caribbean Countries

Bryan A. Mann, Pennsylvania State University
Haram Jeon, Pennsylvania State University
Julia Mahfouz, Pennsylvania State University
David Baker, Pennsylvania State University

Mass education plays an important role in health and fertility outcomes. The Latin American/Caribbean region has experienced educational development but with uneven access across locations and is facing challenges in reproductive health. With these understandings and concerns, this study uses a Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) strategy to analyze a pooled sample of three Latin American/Caribbean countries from Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) to consider the pathway from education to empowerment to contraceptive use. The findings in this research support the claim that there is a positive gradient between education and contraceptive use, and that educationally enhanced empowerment is a major pathway between them. These findings add to a growing understanding of how education, through its impact on psychological capacities, influences reproductive health and family planning.

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 Presented in Session P9. Family Planning, Sexual Behavior, and Reproductive Health