Women’s empowerment and autonomy have been proven to promote women’s use of modern contraceptives. This study examined women’s autonomy as a potential factor for modern contraceptive use among Ghanaian women in a union.


We conducted a secondary analysis of data from the 2014 Ghana Demographic and Health Survey. The main outcome measure was current modern contraceptive use from women’s self-report. Three composite indices were used to assess women’s autonomy: household decision-making, attitudes towards wife-beating, and property ownership.


A total of 4772 non-pregnant women aged 15–49 years in a union were included in the analysis. The mean age was 34.2(±7.97) years, 53.6% received at least secondary education, 87.7% were employed, and 76.5% received family planning information within the last 12 months. The prevalence of modern contraceptive use was 24.8% (95% CI: 22.9–26.7). Women’s autonomy was independently associated with modern contraceptive use. Compared with women with low autonomy, women with moderate (AOR= 1.26, 95% CI: 1.02–1.55, p = 0.034) and high autonomy (AOR = 1.34, 95% CI: 1.01–1.79, p = 0.044) had increased odds of modern contraceptive use. Maternal age, education, number of living children, employment, region, and exposure to family planning information were also strongly associated with modern contraceptive use.

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