June 8, 2020

Presentation and application of a conceptual framework for women's and girls' empowerment in reproductive health

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A renewed focus on women's and girls' empowerment in the era of Sustainable Development Goals reflects the belief that empowerment is central to health and development. Sexual and reproductive health (SRH) outcomes, including pregnancy and contraceptive use, may contribute to and result from empowerment. However, enhanced understanding of how women become empowered for SRH requires clear conceptualization of empowerment.

This study assessed the applicability of a proposed framework for women's and girls' SRH empowerment in sub-Saharan Africa. We sought to understand what shapes and motivates preferences for childbearing and contraception, exploring how women and girls navigate external pressures or rewards to exercise and achieve their reproductive goals.