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Socioeconomic and Demographic Predictors of Women's First Birth at an Early Age: Evidence from Bangladesh’s Demographic and Health Survey, 2004-2014
Authors: Akhtarul Islam, Sharlene Alauddin, and Sutapa D. Barna
Source: Journal of International Women's Studies, Volume 22, Issue 1
Topic(s): Fertility
Country: Asia
Published: FEB 2021
Abstract: Women's health is highly influenced by early childbearing in 95% of developing countries such as Bangladesh. Women who have their first child at an early age receive fewer years of schooling, which also influences their employment life. Women's early age at first birth creates health complications, increases both maternal and child mortality, and prolongs the reproductive duration as well as a country's fertility rate. This is a major social and public health problem around the world. This study aims to investigate the existing situation in Bangladesh and to identify the triggering influencing factors of age at first birth. A cross-sectional study design was implemented in this study, where we used the Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey data from 2004, 2007, 2011, and 2014. Firstly, to identify different factors associated with first birth at an early age, the bi-variate analysis method was carried out. Then a logistic regression analysis was performed to assess the simultaneous effect of socioeconomic and demographic factors. Findings of the study reveal that respondent education level, partner's education level, religion, reading newspaper, and type of place of residence had significant contributions for early age at first birth among the female in Bangladesh. Based on the findings, there seems a decreasing trend of having early childbearing in Bangladeshi women over the years, but still, no optimal fertility rate has been achieved. For complex socio-cultural settings in Bangladesh, it is difficult to reduce the fertility rate. Hence, to reduce the prevalence of the age at early childbearing in Bangladesh, the Government and non-government organizations should take proper initiatives considering our study findings.