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When it comes to family planning many men lack enthusiasm

Radheshyam Jadhav Pune | Updated on August 19, 2019 Published on August 19, 2019

The government has a huge task to educate men when it comes to family planning   -  Vera_Alferava

The latest National Family Health Survey highlights misconceptions

Three in eight men in India believe that contraception is women’s business and that men should not have to worry about it. Twenty per cent of men believe that a woman who uses contraception may become promiscuous, reports the latest National Family Health Survey (NFHS).

Even as Prime Minister Narendra Modi flagged the population growth issue in his Independence Day speech, the government has a huge task to educate men when it comes to family planning.

Modi’s speech has set off speculation that the government might come out with a strong population-control measure. But the NFHS elaborates on the challenges the government will face, while stressing upon family planning.

The total demand for family planning in married women in the 15-49 age group in the country decreased from 70 per cent in 2005-06 to 66 per cent in 2015-16. Older women, women in rural areas, women with little or no schooling, Muslim women, Scheduled Tribe women, and women in the two lowest wealth quintiles have less exposure to family planning messages.

Impact of schooling

The survey highlights the importance of education in family planning. The number of children per woman declines with women’s level of schooling. Women with no schooling have an average 3.1 children, compared with 1.7 children for women with 12 or more years of schooling. The ideal family size declines with an increasing level of education among women. Women with no schooling consider 2.6 children to be their ideal number of children, compared with 1.8 children for women with 12 or more years of schooling.

Female sterilisation remains the most popular modern contraceptive method. Among currently married women in the 15-49 age group, 36 per cent use female sterilisation, followed by male condoms (6 per cent) and pills (4 per cent).

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare told the Rajya Sabha last month that the government is taking initiatives to increase male participation in family planning, which includes campaigns to involve extensive mobilisation activities, promotion of male participation and assured vasectomy services.

Published on August 19, 2019
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