A Gender-Based Approach to Birth Spacing in India
Rebecka I. Lundgren, Georgetown University
In India, 70% of women who want to space their next birth are using no family planning, yet birth spacing is not widely promoted. More women use methods involving men than any other birth spacing method, yet men are rarely addressed in services. Results of a survey of 1793 women and 1058 men in Jharkand state reveal high use of traditional methods and dissatisfaction with available spacing options. Findings suggest family planning is a joint decision and should be addressed as a couple issue. Results reveal that normatively, men afford women more autonomy in the sexual arena than in other areas. Women are significantly more likely than men to agree with statements endorsing their lack of power; 30% state that husbands are justified in using force if their wives refuse sex, compared to 5% of men. Innovations underway to address these issues in government programs in Jharkand will be presented.