This paper focuses on determinants of reproductive behaviour (use of prenatal care and assistance during delivery) among Nepalese married women as per the 1996 Nepal Living Standards Survey (NLSS). While many studies of reproductive behaviour focus on individual-level characteristics this research uses generalized hierarchical linear models to investigate whether sociocultural context, specifically district-level measures of women's empowerment, matter for the outcomes of interest. Geographical variation in the levels of gender development and gender empowerment across districts in Nepal suggest that research on women's status would be enhanced by the incorporation of contextual data. The present results ' show that net of individual characteristics, district-level gender context variables remained a significant predictor of prenatal care, though this was not true for assistance during delivery. A renewed focus on the role of geographic context could help direct attention to studying social contexts and processes, particularly those relating to gender empowerment.
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