Journal Article

Can a gender equity and family planning intervention for men change their gender ideology? Results from the CHARM intervention in rural India

We assess the effect of CHARM, a gender equity and family planning counseling intervention for husbands in rural India, on men's gender ideology. We used a two-armed cluster randomized control trial design and collected survey data from husbands (n=1081) at baseline, 9 months, and 18 months. We used a continuous measure of support for gender equity and a dichotomous measure of equitable attitudes toward women's role in household decision-making. To assess differences on these outcomes, we used generalized linear mixed models. After controlling for socio-demographic factors, men who received the CHARM intervention were significantly more likely than men in the control group to have equitable attitudes toward household decision-making at 9-months follow-up; there was a non-significant difference between the groups for the measure of support for gender equity. For household decision-making, differences were not sustained at 18-months follow-up. Given the role of husbands’ gender ideology in women's contraceptive use, the CHARM intervention represents a promising approach for challenging root causes of women's unmet need for contraception.

Published in a peer-reviewed journal of the Population Council. Paul J. Fleming is an Assistant Professor, Department of Health Behavior and Health Education, University of Michigan School of Public Health. Jay Silverman is a Professor, Julie Ritter is former Data Analyst, and Anita Raj is a Professor, Center on Gender Equity and Health (GEH), Division of Global Public Health, University of California, San Diego School of Medicine. Mohan Ghule is Health Educator, and Balaiah Donta is Scientist, National Institute for Research in Reproductive Health (NIRRH), Mumbai, India. Madhusudana Battala is Senior Program Officer, Population Council, New Delhi, India. Gajanan Velhal is Associate Professor, Topiwala National Medical College and Bai Yamunabai Laxman Nair Charitable Hospital, Mumbai, India. Saritha Nair is Scientist, National Institute of Medical Statistics, New Delhi, India (formerly of NIRRH). Anindita Dasgupta is a Postdoctoral Fellow, School of Social Work, Columbia University, New York (formerly of GEH). Niranjan Saggurti is Country Director of the Population Council's India office.