Influence of women empowerment on reproductive health behavior among Adolescent girls in public secondary schools in Nyando district
Odhiambo, Boniface O
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The purpose of this study was to investigate the influence of women empowerment on reproductive health behavior among adolescent girls in public secondary schools in Nyando District. The study was guided by four objectives: to examine the influence of women education on reproductive health behavior among adolescent girls; to assess the contribution of women economic status on reproductive health behavior among adolescent girls; to establish the extent which women socio-cultural factors influence reproductive health behavior among adolescent girls; and to explore the degree to which women accessibility to information influences reproductive health behavior among adolescent girls in rural secondary schools in Nyando District. The find ings of this study will be significant to non-governmental institutions working in reproductive health to draft information sources on health, health rights, and sexual ity rights and how young adolescent girls can be helped to adapt to their bodies and make informed decisions and prevent the consequences associated with irresponsible sexual behavior. Basic assumptions of the study is that the research instrument; a questionnaire, that will be developed for data collection will be valid and reliable and that the respondents will answer all the questions correctly and without biases. This study heavily rely on a theoretical framework that includes social cognitions specified by theory of planned behavior, social cognitive theory and theory of subjective world which human beings are biologically endowed to construct and inhibit. It assumes that behaviors, including sexual behaviors are largely predicted by intentions, but with skills and environmental conditions (barriers) as important moderators. A descriptive research survey was used in the study. The targeted population was stratified according to sub groups, and a total sample of 302 adolescent girls was selected for the study. Data was coJ1ected through self-administered questionnaires and analyzed for descriptive statistics using SPSS 19.0. The findings were presented in tables, histograms, and pie-charts. The findings showed that women empowerment through tools such as education, media campaigns, and provision ofRH health programs either through NGOs or through advocacy, has helped to increase access to RH services. Women empowerment has gains with regard to reduced premarital sex, reduced/eliminated abortions, reduced unwanted pregnancies, and increased wise use of wise use of contraceptives, and reduced absenteeism and school dropouts. However, the study also demonstrates that RH services are inadequate and has failed to meet the RH needs of adolescent girls in secondary schools in Nyando district. This failure is responsible for the persistent high pregnancy rates, and early sex among young girls reported in the district. Despite socio-cultural challenges, women empowerment programs exert a positive effect on RH outcomes and steers the adolescent girls to economic prosperity in the future.