A Quantitative and Qualitative Investigation of the Role of Gender-Power Relations on Women's Contraceptive Choice in Nepal

Bina Gubhaju, Pennsylvania State University

As a result of Nepal’s government’s concern for reducing fertility in rural areas with a largely illiterate population, use of sterilization has been heavily promoted. This focus of the government’s family planning policy on controlling fertility has limited women’s contraceptive choice. Prior work in Nepal has examined the dynamics of contraceptive use and non-use, but few have looked at those who do use contraceptives and the decision-making process specific to choosing a particular method. This study examines how women choose between different contraceptive options. I argue that women’s contraceptive choice and reproductive health knowledge are limited by the government’s family planning policy emphasis on sterilization and constraints posed by the patriarchal family structure and low status of women. Three sources of data are used for the analysis: The 2001 Nepal DHS, the 2003 Contraceptive Acceptance and Use Patterns Survey, and focus group discussions and key-informant interviews from Nepal.

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Presented in Poster Session 1: Fertility, Family Planning, Reproductive Health