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India has one of the largest populations of married adolescent girls in the world. Despite the high prevalence of early marriage and the distinct and predictable risks these girls and young women face, little is known about the lives of married young women, and little has been done to support them. In response, the Population Council, in partnership with Child in Need Institute and Deepak Charitable Trust, initiated the First-Time Parents project. This project developed and tested an integrated package of health and social interventions that would improve married young women's reproductive and sexual health knowledge and practices, and expand their ability to act in their own interests. Intervention activities were conducted from January 2003 to December 2004 in 12 villages with a population of about 25,000 each in West Bengal and Gujarat. As detailed in this brief, interventions focused on young women who were newly married, pregnant, or postpartum for the first time. Given their role as gatekeepers and confidants, husbands of these young women, as well as senior family members and health-care providers were also included in project activities.






First-time Parents Project