DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18203/issn.2454-2156.IntJSciRep20203115

Gender preference among pregnant women in Nepal

Anupama Ale Magar, Rajendra Karkee, Samyog Upreti, Laxmi Subedi, Anup Ghimire

Abstract


Background: Nepalese society is traditionally patriarchal and son-preferred with increasing numbers of sex-selective abortions. In this context, this study aims to assess the gender preference and associated factors among pregnant women visiting the antenatal care ward of a large public maternity hospital in Kathmandu, Nepal.

Methods: A hospital-based cross-sectional study was carried out among 821 antenatal women. Data was collected via face to face interview with structured questionnaire, and gender preference was assessed using Coombs’ scale.  

Results: At the first instance, more than half 56.2% respondents wished to have two sons and one daughter if they were to have only three children. On asking further questions as per the Coombs’ scale, about 40% of the respondents had son preference falling in IS scale 7-5, 33% had balanced IS-4, and 27% had daughter preference (IS 3-1). The respondent characteristics significantly associated with gender preference were ecological region (p=0.007), education (p=0.009), marital duration (p=0.044) and parity 0.32.

Conclusions: The wish to have son is prevalent among the respondents followed by a mixed gender of children. Educational status, ecological region, and parity explain this differential wish. Women’s education and autonomy are the areas to tackle with sex bias of offspring.


Keywords


Gender, Preference, Coombs’ scale, Nepal

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