Background Roma are Europe’s largest minority population. Serbia and Macedonia have the greatest proportion of Roma outside of the European Union. Our objective was to examine women’s agency and how it related to desired timing of pregnancy among Romani women in Macedonia and Serbia. Methods We surveyed 410 Romani women who had given birth in the last 2 years between November 2012–February 2013 in Serbia and Macedonia using purposeful snowball sampling. Log-Poisson models were used to examine the association between women’s inclusion in healthcare decision- making and desired timing of pregnancy. Results Romani women in Macedonia and Serbia were excluded from the labor market, with over 80% being unemployed, approximately 30% had no schooling, and 17% were not included in healthcare decisions. Romani women who were sole decision-makers in relation to their health were 1.4 times more likely to desire the timing of their most recent pregnancy [RRR = 1.4, CI (1.1, 1.8)]. Conclusions Romani women who have great involvement in their own healthcare decisions were more likely to desire the timing of their current pregnancy. Women’s inclusion in such important decisions is important and empowerment programs that address gender inequity are needed in Romani communities, particularly for control of timing of pregnancy.
Maternal and Child Health Journal – Springer Journals
Published: Feb 8, 2017
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