Influence of gender roles and responsibilities on family planning decisions in adults in Karachi, Pakistan

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MScN)


School of Nursing and Midwifery, Pakistan


The complex interplay of gender and its influence on Family Planning (FP) decisions is closely related to the fields of public health, mental health, and sociology. This study aimed to identify the gender roles and responsibilities of married adults and to explore their influence on FP decisions in the society of urban Karachi, Pakistan. A descriptive exploratory study design, using the qualitative paradigm, was adopted. The researcher interviewed 12 participants (six males and six females) from Gulberg Town. A semi-structured interview guide was used, along with field notes, to collect data. The data collection process was followed by data analysis, which was carried out manually using the Graneheim and Lundman guidelines. The data analysis was facilitated by the social ecological model. The study findings revealed that FP decisions are influenced by factors that can be categorized as superficial and deep factors. The superficial factors are apparent to the society and can be easily observed. These include interpretation of FP, awareness about FP, and a couple's understanding in decision making on FP matters. However, there are deeply rooted factors that influence FP decisions. Such factors include the roles and responsibilities of men and women in the family, factors affecting women autonomy, and the gender gap. These factors are influencing women's reproductive rights on FP decisions, for which workable strategies are recommended at the end of study. The study concludes that FP services are underutilized by couples due to the perplexing gender norms involved in it, which immensely affect FP decisions. The study recommends that all efforts to uplift utilization of FP should consider gender dynamics to bring a positive change in the society.

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