The purpose of this paper is to find out the prevalence and determinants of unmet need with a special focus on religious barrier towards the use of contraception among Muslim women in India. The study also addresses their future intention to use family planning method.
Data from the latest round of District Level Household and Facility Survey (DLHS-3) in India is used. A multi-stage stratified probability proportion to size sampling design was adopted. The present analysis is based on 70,016 currently married Muslim women across the country.
The prevalence of total unmet need is the highest in Bihar (48.5 per cent), which is two times higher than the national level (27.6 per cent). About 9 per cent Muslim women in India do not use contraception due to religious opposition. There is considerable gap in the future intention to use family planning method between Muslim (9.2 per cent) and non-Muslim (19.6 per cent) women particularly for limiting birth. The logistic regression analysis shows non-Muslim women are significantly more likely (OR=1.540, p<0.001) to have the intention to use family planning method in the future than Muslim women.
Men are not included to explore the differences in the perception of men and women towards family planning. Interventions targeting men and aiming at overcoming cultural barriers to using family planning method are equally imperative. Couple's knowledge, attitude and perception towards acceptance of family planning methods need to be addressed simultaneously by interviewing the couples separately.
Public-private collaboration to promote family planning programme and providing services in the high prevalence (unmet need) states is required. Support from the religious leaders to overcome the cultural barriers towards the use of family planning is also needed.
This is the first ever effort to address the existing unmet need for family planning among Muslim women in India, which is an important determinant of high fertility among Muslim women.
Patra, S. and Singh, R.K. (2015), "Addressing unmet need and religious barrier towards the use of family planning method among Muslim women in India", International Journal of Human Rights in Healthcare, Vol. 8 No. 1, pp. 22-35. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJHRH-06-2014-0010
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