Women’s Empowerment and Use of Contraception in India: Macro and Micro Perspectives Emerging from NFHS-4 (2015-16)

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S K Singh ,Swati Srivastava ,Gudakesh Yadav ,Deepanjali Viswakarma ,Bhawana Sharma & Barsharani Maharana
Elsevier B.v.
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Background and objective: Based on the four-corner stone of population and development programmes re- cognized by ICPD (1994) this paper envisages the relationship between the recent waves of women's empow- erment anduse of contraceptive methods in India. Data and methods: Findings are based on two rounds of NFHS (3 & 4). Liberson’s Diversity Index has been used to assess the inequality in women’s empowerment. Multiple regression analysis is used to portray the relationship and logistic regression is used to access the adjusted effects of various dimensions of women's empowerment on use of contraception. Results: Varying degrees of equity in women’s empowerment across different states of India builds a combative relationship with uptake of contraceptive methods. Results portray a positive association between inequality in household decision making, engaged in paid work in last 12 months and having 10 years of schooling with use of any modern method. Women who participated in household decision making (OR = 1.17 p < 0.005), using mobile phone (OR = 1.23 p < 0.005) and working and were paid in cash in last 12 months (OR = 1.37 p < 0.005) are significantly more likely to use any method of contraception. Conclusions: Status of women in India has improved in different dimensions, yet the patriarchal norms influence the decision of using contraception. The current women-centric bottom-top approach in implementation of fa- mily planning programme should focus at the women’s right to decision on their own life and health. Such efforts should hinge at strengthening inter personal counseling and capacity building sessions by outreach workers, which may empower women with enhanced knowledge about their health and bodily rights.

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