Understanding Contraceptive Adoption in India: Does Women’s Autonomy Matter?
The principal aim of this study is to examine the relationship among physical, decision-making and economic autonomy, and contraceptive use in major states of India. Study also explores variation in autonomy on the adoption of contraceptives by literacy. Data for this study comes from the National Family Health Survey, 1998-99 that collected information on contraceptive use as well as several dimensions of women’s autonomy from ever married women of reproductive ages. Study reveals that on the whole, the higher the index of physical and economic autonomy, the higher the percent share of women in use of contraceptives. Nevertheless, decision autonomy found to be negatively associated with contraceptive use in all the states except Kerala (OR=1.02) and Punjab (OR=1.24). In Haryana, Kerala, Punjab and West Bengal more than seventy percent of women of high score physical autonomy has reported more contraceptive use among all the major states of India. Examining the contraceptive use by autonomy level assuming all women illiterate, it has been found that the percent share of contraceptive use is increased with the score of physical and economic autonomy whereas it has declined with the increase in the index of decision autonomy. Similar results has been observed when analyzed assuming all women are educated up to middle school completed and with women educated up to high school and above. Study thus concludes that women’s physical and economic autonomy are the most significant forces in the movement toward lower fertility in India.
Keywords: Autonomy, Education, Fertility Behaviour, India
Dr. Ruchi Sogarwal
Researcher, National Institute of Health and Family Welfare
I have a Master’s degree in Zoology from ML Sukhadia University, Rajasthan , India . I have also done Masters in Population Sciences (MPS) at International Institute for Population Sciences, Mumbai. My doctoral work was on “Epidemiological study on iodine deficiency disorders among school children of Rajasthan , India ” in the year 2003. In this study I conducted a survey of school children by adopting a two stage sampling design. I achieved ‘Young Scientist Award’ for my research work from Saurashtra University , India in the year 2002. Independently, I have conducted a survey on ‘Study on goiter prevalence among school age children of urban, rural and tribal areas of Rajasthan , India ’. This project was funded by Department of Science and Technology , India . For pursuing my doctoral work, a UGC fellowship (Universal Grant Commission) is also been awarded through ML Sukhadia University, Rajasthan.
I have considerable experience of working on mixed methods i.e. of Quantitative as well as Qualitative methods in urban, rural and also in slum areas. I participated in the 1st Summer Programme on “Large Scale Survey Research: Theory & Practice” at the International Institute of Population Sciences, Mumbai, during June 2-20, 2003. In this programme I have learned the scientific technique for conducting large-scale surveys. I have successfully completed the Winter Programme on “Data Analysis in Social Sciences” held on 7th Nov to 19th Nov 2005 at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai sponsored by the Indian Council of Social Research, New Delhi . I was also selected as a “Visiting Scholar” at 58th Summer Institute at Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan, USA in the year 2005. I have experience of managing and supervising multi-discipline and multi-cultural research teams as well. Also have experience of working on different statistical and qualitative packages such as SPSS, STATA, ATLAS-TI, table-TOP, QCA, ANTHROPAC and GIS.