Patterns and mechanisms contributing to the males’ positive involvement in reproductive health issues: cases from a peri-urban area of Bangladesh

Main Article Content

N. M. Rabiul Awal Chowdhury
Israt Jahan Lipa
Fazle Sharior


In a patriarchal society where decisions are largely made by men, the need to include men in reproductive issues are relatively complex with a view to achieving key reproductive health (RH) goals. In SDG goal 5.6, it is emphasized to ensure equal access to sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights as agreed in accordance with the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development. The conference advises that efforts should be made to emphasize men’s shared responsibility and promote their active involvement in the RH field. This study intended to explore mechanisms and channels promoting male involvement in RH in Cumilla city, a southeastern urban area of Bangladesh. The qualitative study design was used to figure out transformative and effective reasons which led males to share responsibilities regarding the RH issue. Case study method was adopted as the strategy of inquiry of this qualitative study. This study tried to explore the contextual analysis of male involvement in RH issue. In brief the study asserts the idea that being in the same gendered norms setting, some mechanisms like self-interest, adequate knowledge and awareness, mutual communication, love and affection between spouses, peer-group communication influenced males to  actively involve  in RH  field especially in considering wife’s decision regarding contraceptive use, birth spacing, abortion and accompanying wife during  RH serivces. It is recommended that programs on effective implementation of male involvement in RH  should address the socio-cultural barriers and challenges to men’s supportive activities. It is a comprehensive task that cannot be achieved in the short-run and  requires sustained engagement and commitment by all stakeholders.


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Article Details

Short Report
Author Biographies

N. M. Rabiul Awal Chowdhury, Faculty Member, Department of Anthropology, Comilla University, Cumilla 3506, Bangladesh.

Faculty Member, Department of Anthropology, Comilla University, Cumilla 3506, Bangladesh.

Israt Jahan Lipa, Faculty Member, Department of Anthropology, Comilla University, Cumilla 3506, Bangladesh.

Faculty Member, Department of Anthropology, Comilla University, Cumilla 3506, Bangladesh.

Fazle Sharior, Former MSS student, Department of Anthropology, Comilla University, Cumilla 3506, Bangladesh.

Former MSS student, Department of Anthropology, Comilla University, Cumilla 3506, Bangladesh.


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