Women’s Autonomy and Reproductive Behavior in Bangladesh

M. Mozaffar Hosain, Jagannath University

This study uses the 2004 BDHS data to investigate different dimensions of women’s Autonomy to reproductive behavior. Study finds that different dimensions of women’s autonomy influence the outcome variables differently in terms of magnitude and statistical significance. Particularly, women’s final say in decisions regarding day-to-day household purchases and spousal communication about family planning are influential predictors of fertility preferences and current use of modern family planning methods. Women’s household economic situation has always significant effects on women’s autonomy as well as on fertility preferences and use of contraception. There is evidence that women’s empowerment is negatively correlated with the ideal number of children. These findings suggest that women’s decision making autonomy and strengthen their negotiating capacity for family planning use should be improved if an increased desire to limit fertility is to be attained.

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Presented in Poster Session 5