Contexts and Vulnerability of Unintended Pregnancy among Young Women in Orissa, India: Does Gender Role Matter?

Manas Pradhan, MAMTA Health Institute for Mother and Child
Usha Ram, International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS)

The present research that attempts to identify the contexts and vulnerability of unintended pregnancy among young women uses a multistage random sampling to select the respondents. Both qualitative and quantitative tools are used for data collection and software packages like SPSS, ATLAS ti and ANTHROPAC have been used for analysis. The findings are based on the data of 250 individual interviews, besides four focus-group discussions, and 22 in-depth interviews with currently married women aged 15-24 in rural Orissa, India, during 2006-07. Nearly three-fifths of the women experienced an unintended pregnancy, and the likelihood of unintended pregnancy is significantly high among those with a low equitable gender role. Gender socialization that restricts women’s function mainly to child bearing, coupled with their economic dependence, and envisaged social criticism of being barren compels young women to adhere to the traditionally expected gender role often resulting in early conception soon after marriage.

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Presented in Session 104: Gender, Power and Reproductive Behavior