Women’s poor socio-economic status (SES) is linked to multiple contributing factors, most of which are related to performing multiple roles that include family, childcare and reproductive responsibilities in general. However, the relationship between women’s reproductive factors and household SES remains uncertain. This study explored the association between selected reproductive factors and households’ SES among rural households with women of reproductive age. A cross-sectional study, involving six randomly selected villages from three wards of Morogoro district, Tanzania, was used. A total of 542 participants consisting of women from male and female-headed households were involved in the study. Data analyses were performed using the IBM SPSS® software. Ordinal logistic regression model was used to estimate the relationship of the study variables. The number of children a woman wished to have had negative association with SES, whereby wishing to have more than 5 children was associated with less likelihood to attain the higher SES. The mean age at first pregnancy was 18.5 years, with 56.5% of the participants becoming pregnant for the first time at age 18 or below, which indicates predominance of teenage pregnancies. The age at first pregnancy had significant and positive relationship with SES, whereby being pregnant at the age of more than 18 years increases the chance of attaining a higher SES. In conclusion, teenage pregnancies and the desire for relatively many children (>5) constrain the attainment of higher SES. The study recommends strengthening reproductive health education particularly family planning and advocacy on teenage pregnancies in rural communities.
Key words: Women, socio-economic status, reproductive factors, rural, Tanzania.