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Impact of a self-reliance programme on family planning activities in Bangladesh

, : Impact of a self-reliance programme on family planning activities in Bangladesh. Asia-Pacific Population Journal 6(1): 39-52

This report examines the effectiveness of family planning activities through the Swanirvar Programme, a socioeconomic development project in rural Bangladesh. Bangladesh currently exhibits low contraceptive prevalence, which can be attributed to low levels of socioeconomic development, the low status of women, the preference for sons, the high level of infant mortality, and the low access to family planning. Concerning its income-generating activities, the Swanirvar Programme's strategy includes a high degree of community participation -- especially women's participation. By having them assume a greater role in income-generation, the program hopes to give women a greater role in decision-making of the family, including family planning. By interviewing randomly selected women involved in the Swanirvar Programme and women not involved, this study compares the fertility behavior and knowledge and use of contraception of both groups, and attempts to identify the variables influencing the current use of contraception. The total fertility rate for the program group and the non-program group was 4.98 and 5.23, respectively. While knowledge of contraception use among program women was 53%, compared to 36% among non-program women. The program group also exhibits a lower levels of infant mortality. The reports suggests that the program's efforts to raise awareness about the economic implications of having a large family, the benefits of birth spacing, and the provisions of credit facilities have been instrumental in the increasing contraceptive prevalence. To further increase contraceptive prevalence, the report recommends taking steps to increase women's awareness about their rights and family law.


PMID: 12343264

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