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Reproductive Health in the Context of Economic and Democratic Development

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image of Comparative Sociology
For content published from 1960-2001, see International Journal of Comparative Sociology.

This paper proposes a model of women's reproductive health in the context of economic and democratic development. Gender equality and reproductive rights were used as intervening factors. The analysis was done in three stages. First, a comparison of the mean values of the variables was conducted. Second, the parameters of the measurement model were assessed, in particular the reliability of the variables and the factor loadings on the constructs. Finally, the estimates of the structural parameters of the model were determined. Data used for this study were obtained from 129 developing countries.

Empirical findings indicate the importance of economic development, gender equality, and personal marriage and divorce rights in predicting reproductive health. The path coefficients are high and statistically significant. The relationship between democracy and gender equality is positive and statistically significant as proposed. The results of this study throw some light on several long-standing concerns with regard to the role of economic development, democracy, gender equality, and reproductive rights in predicting women's reproductive health. Limitations of the study are discussed.


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