Emerging changes in reproductive behaviour among married adolescent girls in an urban slum in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Abstract:

:Structural and social inequalities, a harsh political economy and neglect on the part of the state have made married adolescent girls an extremely vulnerable group in the urban slum environment in Bangladesh. The importance placed on newly married girls' fertility results in high fertility rates and low rates of contraceptive use. Ethnographic fieldwork among married adolescent girls, aged 15-19, was carried out in a Dhaka slum from December 2001-January 2003, including 50 in-depth interviews and eight case studies from among 153 married adolescent girls, and observations and discussions with family and community members. Cultural and social expectations meant that 128 of the girls had borne children before they were emotionally or physically ready. Twenty-seven had terminated their pregnancies, of whom 11 reported they were forced to do so by family members. Poverty, economic conditions, marital insecurity, politics in the household, absence of dowry and rivalry among family, co-wives and in-laws made these young women acquiesce to decisions made by others in order to survive. Young married women's status is changing in urban slum conditions. When their economical productivity takes priority over their reproductive role, the effects on reproductive decision-making within families may be considerable. This paper highlights the vulnerability of young women as they pragmatically make choices within the social and structural constraints in their lives.

journal_name

Reprod Health Matters

authors

Rashid SF

doi

10.1016/S0968-8080(06)27221-5

subject

Has Abstract

pub_date

2006-05-01 00:00:00

pages

151-9

issue

27

eissn

0968-8080

issn

1460-9576

pii

S0968-8080(06)27221-5

journal_volume

14

pub_type

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