In India, sexual activity and childbearing among young women take place overwhelmingly within the context of marriage. Despite the high prevalence of early marriage, little is known about the lives of married young women, and few interventions have focused on supporting this group. In response, the Population Council, in partnership with Child In Need Institute in Kolkata (West Bengal) and Deepak Charitable Trust in Vadodara (Gujarat), initiated the First-Time Parents project aimed at developing and testing 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. As part of a quasi-experimental study to test the effects of the project, the Institute for Population Sciences and the Council conducted a baseline survey in selected rural sites from late 2002 to early 2003. All women meeting the selection criteria—i.e., newly married, first-time pregnant or first-time mothers, regardless of age—in the intervention and control villages were invited to be interviewed. This report presents findings from the baseline survey.
Ram, F., Ranjana Sinha, S.K. Mohanty, Arup Das, Aruna Lakhani, Nicole Haberland, and K.G. Santhya. 2006. "Marriage and motherhood: An exploratory study of the social and reproductive health status of married young women in Gujarat and West Bengal." New Delhi: Population Council.
First-time Parents Project