Main Article Content
The direct measures of women’s empowerment are recently emerged as a key factor influencing utilization of family planning services in developing countries. Women’s education and employment used as proxy measures of women’s empowerment, however, not sufficient to capture gender power relations and the way in which reproductive behaviours are governed. The purpose of the study was to examine the potential importance of women’s empowerment, socioeconomic status, and demographic factors in contraceptive utilization in Amhara National Regional State, Ethiopia. The study employed community- based cross-sectional study design and used the total of 2,214 currently married women of reproductive age selected by a four-stage cluster selection. Data management and analysis was carried out using STATA 12. A sequential of Binary Logistic Regression model was used to analyze the data. The findings illustrated all women’s empowerment indices that remain significant after controlling for socioeconomic status and demographic indicators. The odds of modern contraception was higher for mobility freedom (OR = 1.30, 95% CI = 1.09-1.55); financial autonomy (OR = 1.99, 95% CI = 1.85-2.33); access to resources (OR = 1.74, 95% CI = 1.58-1.94); and free from spousal violence (OR = 1.45, 95% CI = 1.16- 1.73). In addition, the odds of modern contraception was higher for secondary and above education (OR = 3.15, 95% CI = 2.38-3.89) and employed for cash (OR = 3.26, 95% CI = 2.65-3.99). In conclusion, women’s empowerment influences modern contraception independent of socioeconomic and demographic factors. Therefore, initiatives to improve women’s position, both to attain gender equality and to promote empowerment in contraceptive use is required. In addition, improving women’s education and employment play a dual role in enhancing empowerment in utilization of family planning services.