Date of Completion


Embargo Period



Minakshi Tikoo; Jean J. Schensul

Field of Study

Public Health


Master of Public Health

Open Access

Open Access


The data on which this thesis is based were collected in three study communities located in a marginalized area of Mumbai. We draw on two data sources: in-depth qualitative interviews conducted with 66 married women and a survey sample of 260 married women. This thesis examines the relationship between empowerment to women’s self-reported general health status and women’s self-reported health during pregnancy in low-income communities in Mumbai. The results of the analysis show that empowerment functions differently in relation to women’s general health situation and their pregnancy status. Findings indicate that women who are more empowered are more likely to experience general health problems, and less likely to experience pregnancy related health problems. These findings highlight the need to consider the multidimensionality of empowerment as a means for specific changes in aspects of women’s lives.

Major Advisor

Stephen L. Schensul