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Negotiating collective and individual agency: a qualitative study of young women's reproductive health in rural India
Uppsala University.
Uppsala University.
University of Oxford.
Action Research & Training for Health, Udaipur, Rajasthan, India.
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2015 (English)In: Qualitative Health Research, ISSN 1049-7323, E-ISSN 1552-7557Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

The societal changes in India and the available variety of reproductive health services call for evidence to inform health systems how to satisfy young women's reproductive health needs. Inspired by Foucault's power idiom and Bandura's agency framework, we explore young women's opportunities to practice reproductive agency in the context of collective social expectations. We carried out in-depth interviews with 19 young women in rural Rajasthan. Our findings highlight how changes in notions of agency across generations enable young women's reproductive intentions and desires, and call for effective means of reproductive control. However, the taboo around sex without the intention to reproduce made contraceptive use unfeasible. Instead, abortions were the preferred method for reproductive control. In conclusion, safe abortion is key, along with the need to address the taboo around sex to enable use of "modern" contraception. This approach could prevent unintended pregnancies and expand young women's agency.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
reproductive decision making, contraception, abortion, agency, rural India, reproductive health policy, qualitative in-depth interviews
National Category
Health Sciences
Research subject
Health and Welfare
URN: urn:nbn:se:du-19954DOI: 10.1177/1049732315613038PubMedID: 26531879OAI: diva2:867685
Available from: 2015-11-06 Created: 2015-11-06 Last updated: 2016-05-31Bibliographically approved

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