Gender and Family Planning: A Close Reading of Forty Years of India’s Family Planning Policies
Updated: Feb 15
Authored by - Arushi Sahay
Edited by - Kavita Majumdar
Read the paper here.
This piece undertakes an in-depth and gender-sensitive investigation of over forty years of family planning policy in India (1977-2019). The findings indicate that despite an acutely gendered nature of contraceptive-usage in India, key policy documents display a relatively passive gaze of the state towards questions of gender equality and reproductive justice within family planning.
Gender norms and gender-based discrimination are critical drivers of family planning (FP) outcomes in India and globally. With more than 70% of contraceptive-users worldwide being women, global contraceptive-use is gender imbalanced (UNDESA, 2019). Family planning practices are further stratified in terms of reproductive justice, i.e., to what social group is reproduction a matter of freedom and choice, and to what degree is it a space of being under surveillance; this intersects with systems of racism, socioeconomic disparities, religious identity, and more.