It is saddening to see how the burden of not just family rearing, but also family planning falls on the women in our country. And it is not true only for the rural areas – the so-called modern and urbanised areas also place this responsibility on women. The national capital is no exception.
The latest National Family Health Survey-4 (NFHS-4) data states that of all family planning methods currently used, female sterilisation constitutes 19.3% and 22.3% in the urban and rural states of the capital. It is 35.7 (urban) and 36.1 (rural) at the national level. It is a reflection of how the patriarchy holds women responsible for birth control.
Strangely, use of the male sterilisation method as a family planning method in the national capital is comparatively larger in rural areas at 2.5%, compared to the 0.2% in urban areas. This is despite the widespread acceptance of the fact that the consequences of female sterilisation are more severe than male sterilisation.
Excessive bleeding, infection, and in some cases, death are the possible aftermaths of female sterilisation. The death of 13 women in Bilaspur (Odisha) in 2015 is a case in point. Pills consumed in oral form constitute about 3.2% of all birth control methods. This is again gendered, as pills are consumed by women only.