Millions of women each year experience unintended pregnancies, and millions more have unmet need for family planning. One of the persistent gaps in knowledge is the role of gender barriers that women face in defining and achieving their reproductive intentions. This paper provides a gender analysis of women’s demand for reproductive control. This analysis illuminates how the social construction of gender affects fertility preferences, unmet need, and the barriers that women face to using contraception and safe abortion. It also helps to bridge important dichotomies in the population, family planning, and reproductive health fields.
Jennifer McCleary-Sills, Allison McGonagle, Anju Malhotra