XXVII IUSSP International Population Conference
"Young couples: How to meet their contraceptive needs to space births?"
Isha Bhatnagar, M.E. Khan, and Avishek Hazra
Bihar is the second most populous state (106 million) in India and has highest total fertility rate (3.9) and a stagnated contraceptive prevalence rate of modern methods (29 percent). The unmet need for contraception is high.
Data and Objectives
Based on a large sample survey (N=7995), including 2,937 women, 723 husbands and 592 health workers, and 150 in-depth interviews of women and their husbands, the present paper attempts to understand (a) who decides and how decision of contraceptive use is taken, (b) how socio-cultural norms influence contraceptive use dynamics, (c) barriers to contraceptive use, and (d) where family planning program is failing to reach young couples.
A combination of qualitative and quantitative approach including multivariate analysis shows a combination of socio-cultural and a weak FP program contribute to continued low use of contraception including: (a) large family size norm and son preference, (b) subordinate status of young women, low mobility outside home and lack of decision making power, (c) early marriage/pregnancy with no knowledge of fertility return leading to unwanted pregnancies; compounded by (d) programmatic inadequacies such as failure to provide correct and complete knowledge on FP, fear of side effects, and limited access to methods within village.
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