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Can women’s perceptions of their own autonomy enable them to generate changes in their reproductive behavior? Evidence from gender perspectives

Nizamuddin Khan, International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS)

In past research on reproductive issues, data for married couples were generally collected from wife alone assuming women are the most reliable source of information on reproductive and contraceptive histories. This increased awareness of male role has resulted in effort to collect data from 418 young married couples to judge the responses. There is one-year difference in education between spouses, with husband having completed an average of 8.3 and wife 6.7 years of schooling and had 2 births. Findings reveal that both spouses are in favor of women’s autonomy in terms of outside mobility, access to economic resources and involvement in household decision making power. Couples form urban areas, educated, working as professional, exposure to media and higher standard of living is positively linked with women’s autonomy. Findings also suggest that involving husbands and encouraging couples’ joint decision-making in reproductive behavior may provide an important strategy in achieving women’s autonomy.

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Presented in Poster Session 1: Poster Session 1: reproductive health, HIV-AIDS, poverty and gender