Husband's Involvement in the Prevention of Maternal Ill-Health: Determinants of Husband's Domestic Support in Rural Low-Land of Nepal
Ronald G. Horstman, Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute (NIDI)
Binod Nepal, Center for Research on Environment Health and Population Activities (CREHPA)
This paper explores the nature, prevalence and determinants of husband's support in domestic chores during their wife's pregnancy. Data come from the 2002 Safe Motherhood Male Involvement Study in rural communities of Morang District, Nepal. Qualitative explorative research was followed by a two stage sample survey of 595 ever-pregnant wives 15-24 years and their 445 husbands. Results show modest to low prevalence of domestic support by husbands. After controlling for health risk factors, household composition and ethnic origin, and socio-economic variables, social pressure appears to be one of the important barriers to husband's domestic support. However, husband knowledge of maternal matters, spousal communication and the type of marriage are positively related to husband support. Together the results show that 'male involvement' is a multi-dimensional concept and point to ways to further conceptualise its complexity.