The Impact of Family Planning and Delaying Childbearing on Women's Empowerment in Iran

Amir Erfani, Nipissing University

The literature documenting fertility transition in developing countries, including Iran, have largely focused on the determinants of fertility decline and less attention was given to the impact of the decline on women’s lives. Using longitudinal retrospective data from 2009 Tehran Fertility Survey, this study examined the impact of contraceptive use and delaying childbearing on women’ educational and employment trajectories, as indicators of women’s empowerment. Multinomial logistic analyses indicated that compared with contraceptive nonusers, women using modern contraceptives before first birth and delaying childbearing by three years, were more likely to experience 1-2 years of increase in education level and to stay employed after successive births, controlling for other factors. Further cohort analyses revealed that more recent marriage cohorts of women were more likely to experience educational improvement and to remain stably employed over time, compared to older cohorts who did not have access to freely available family planning services.

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Presented in Poster Session 3