Women 's Health As A Global Epidemic Essay

Women 's Health As A Global Epidemic Essay

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In many developing countries a significant proportion of women of reproductive age who don’t use contraceptives intend to postpone or limit their birth. This discrepancy between women’s stated desire to control childbearing and their actual use of contraceptives makes them to have more unwanted pregnancies and become pregnant much sooner than desired (Sedgh, Singh, and Hussain 2014; Darroch and Singh 2013). Recent estimates show that unintended pregnancy has emerged as a global epidemic (Sedgh, Singh, & Hussain 2014). Studies showed that unintended pregnancies are associated with an array of negative socio-psychological and health outcomes for both mothers and children (Marston and Cleland 2003; Hardee et al. 2004; Gipson, Koenig, and Hindin 2008). For example, mothers who have mistimed or unplanned pregnancies are less likely to timely utilize antenatal care than mothers whose pregnancies are intended (Eggleston 1998; Joyce & Grossman 1990).

Women’s health and well-being is often adversely affected by their inferior social status in many societies. This is partly because traditional gender roles and power relations at the household level put women in a weaker position which undermines their achievement of desired reproductive goals such as using contraception, spacing, and limiting births (Blanc 2001). In an agrarian society such as Bangladesh, women’s lives are typically constrained by traditional gender roles, conservative religious norms, and ingrained agrarian value system. Many agrarian families view children as a source of agricultural labor and a hedge against poverty in old age and illness. Therefore, high fertility and large families are considered to be economically rewarding. Agrarian value system also encourage earl...

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...Asian context is concerned, women’s position is embedded in social relationships and structurally strongly tied to men. With respect to reproductive health-related decision-making in such societies, scholars continue to argue that greater attention should be placed on household decision-making processes that involve couple’s mutual consent (Kabeer 2001; Mullany, Hindin & Becker 2005; Mumtaz & Salway 2009). Because couple’s joint decision-making allows the husband and wife to share the responsibility of the decision. Studies (Hameed et al 2014; Govindasamy & Malhotra 1996) demonstrate that couple’s joint decision making power is associated with substantial increase in use of contraception. In line with these studies, we hypothesize that women would have reduced unmet need for contraception if gender-equitable participation dominates in the household decision-makings.

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