In United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the international community has established the SDGs and set the target for countries to reduce maternal mortality ratio to less than 70 per 100,000 live births by 2030 . Ethiopia has already declared its commitment to achieving the SDG targets. This implies that Ethiopia will need to significantly accelerate the progress rate. Expanding initiatives to include husbands and promoting their involvement in reproductive health could be considered as an important strategy for adaptation in this regard.
This study demonstrates that husbands’ knowledge and involvement is a key factor in the protection of women’s health. In this study, 48.3% (95% CI: 44.5–52.2) of husbands are knowledgeable about the reproductive rights of their partners. This finding was in agreement with a study conducted in northern Ethiopia (Shire town, 47.1%) . This consistency might be related to the fact that there is a community health development army and HEWs are almost similar in the country in which they are doing health promotion, awareness creation, and the development of social media access. This finding was lower than studies conducted in Ghana (53.8%) , Southern Ethiopia (Wolyta sodo, 54.5%) , Northern Ethiopia (Gonder, 57.7%) . However, this finding was higher than studies conducted in India (9.1%)  and northwest Ethiopia (Adet Tana Haik, 25.96%) . This disparity might be because of the differences in the socio-economic, cultural, religious, and level of education and awareness.
Regarding husbands’ involvement, 40.1% (95% CI: 36.2–44.0) participants had good involvement in partners’ reproductive rights. This finding was in line with studies conducted in Bangladesh (40%) , southern Ethiopia (Bale zone, 41.4%) , and Afar, Ethiopia ( 42.2%) . This consistency might be related to the fact that there is a rising development intervention in many of these countries like community health promotion, awareness creation, and the development of social media access. However, this finding was lower than studies conducted in Tanzania (50.6%) (28) and Nepal (57.6%) . But higher than a study conducted in Ethiopia (Harar, 19.7%)  This disparity might be differences in study times, and socio-demographic characteristics level of implementation in the above-mentioned countries.
In this study, the use of social media, discussions on reproductive health, and type of nearby health facility were factors associated with husbands' knowledge. Male partners who used social media were almost five and two times more likely to be knowledgeable and involved in partners’ reproductive rights compared to those partners who did not use it. This finding was in line with a study conducted in Bangladesh [22, 41]. The possible explanation might be that a continuous and multidimensional community awareness through media, particularly on human rights, empowering women, and individual rights that can change the perception and knowledge of individuals [6, 22].
Moreover, male partners who had a hospital and health post nearby were almost three times more likely to be knowledgeable on partners’ reproductive rights. This might be health facility access can result in changing the perception, belief, health norms, and practice of individuals. [16, 38, 42]. Furthermore, male partners who had discussed reproductive health were two times more likely to be knowledgeable and involved in practicing partners’ reproductive rights of women. This finding is in agreement with studies conducted in Bangladesh ), India , and Kenya . This can be explained by the fact that knowledge gained through experience sharing during the discussion can increase the knowledge in reproductive rights [14, 38, 44].
Male partners aged 40 to 49 years were almost two times more likely to be involved in partners’ reproductive rights. This finding is in line with a study conducted in Ghana . This might imply that in this study majority were of maturity age and their level of education was secondary and above might increase their involvement in partners’ reproductive rights.
As per this study, male partners’ educational levels, occupation, having access to reproductive education, and experience of using reproductive services was not statistically significantly associated with husbands’ knowledge and involvement in partners’ reproductive rights. This was contrary to studies conducted in India , Bale Zone, Ethiopia , Arbaminch, Ethiopia , and Bangladesh  and southern Ethiopia . The reason for the difference might be a disparity in the study sample and community health Nurses in India and Health Extension Workers in Ethiopia play a pivotal role in this difficulty [3, 14, 25].
The study has some limitations: First, the cross-sectional nature of the study temporal relationship may not be assured. Second, it used self-reporting (interview response), which might have a social desirability bias. Some questions also required participants to recall, which could have affected the results. But efforts were made to manage through training of data collectors, and supervisors on how to approach respondents, interviewing male partners privately, and close supervision.