Background: Access to reproductive health services (maternal, family planning services, and HIV services) continues to be a major public health concern in Sub-Saharan Africa and Nigeria. Studies in Nigeria have explored factors influencing access to health care services. However, most studies have not explored the influence of gender norms and roles on access to reproductive health services.
Method: This study adopted a cross-sectional design and multi-staged random sampling technique in selecting the respondents that were interviewed. Logistics/Poisson regression was used to analyze the variables at the bivariate/multivariate level.
Results: Women’s autonomy, participation in leadership, household headship, employment and household tasks were significantly associated with access to sexual and reproductive health care services. Women’s autonomy led to a 16% increase in access to sexual and reproductive health care services [OR=1.16;95%CI=1.09-1.22]. Women who possess assets were more likely to access sexual and reproductive health care services by 5% [OR=1.05;95%CI=0.97-1.13]. Socio-demographic factors such as employment, marital status, and residence are significantly associated with access to reproductive health and HIV services.
Conclusion: Access to reproductive health care services can be improved by increasing the women’s decision-making power within the households, providing enabling environment for women to possess assets/property, and increase control of women over resources.
Keywords: Gender Norms and Roles, Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC), reproductive health care services, women autonomy, primary caregiver. Maternal Mortality rate (MMR).
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