Our gender gap in contraception needs public policy intervention
Scrutiny of NFHS data suggests patriarchal attitudes are a key factor and we need an approach designed to address this
The recently-released fifth round of our National Family and Health Survey (NFHS-5) highlights that there has been a more than 10 percentage-point increase in the use of contraception among currently married women aged 15-49 years: that is, from 53.5% in 2015-16 to 66.7% in 2019-20. A significant jump has been observed in the use of condoms, which rose from 5.6% to 9.5%. It’s noteworthy that despite the near doubling in the use of condoms, female sterilization continues to be the most popular choice, with an adoption rate of 37.9% (NFHS-5), even many years after the inception of family planning as a concept in India.