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Women continue to bear family planning burden in India

Nov 16, 2017

Patriarchal norms remain as stumbling blocks to family planning initiatives in India as the burden is still borne unequally by women.

New Delhi: On the World Vasectomy Day, experts opine that it is important to understand that deep seated patriarchal norms are a deterrent that prevents men from being equal partners in sharing the responsibility for planning families.

Poonam Muttreja, Executive Director, Population Foundation of India (PFI), believes that the burden of family planning is borne unequally by women in India, as female sterilisation accounts for 75.6% of modern contraceptive usage, while male sterilisation is at just 0.6%[1], even though it is a low-risk, simpler and highly effective form of contraception.

“A survey indicates that 40.2% of men in India think it is a woman’s responsibility to avoid getting pregnant. We need to actively work towards engaging men in family planning by addressing social norms to enable them to make the right choices for a healthy family, community and country.” says Muttreja.

The World Vasectomy Day is a reminder for men to pledge their support to women for joint decision making. It is a movement for men to engage in the conversation about contraception.

Vinoj Manning, Executive Director, Ipas Development Foundation (IDF), said that male involvement in family planning is a priority at the policy level and needs all players to come forward to make this a reality at the ground level.

“We need champions to lead by example and demonstrate the role of men in supporting their families. We support the Ministry’s initiatives of working towards involving men in the conversation about family planning,” he said.

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