Section: Research Projects
This research in 2003-5 was the third round of qualitative and small-scale quantitative demographic data collection from two villages (one Hindu and one Muslim in Bijnor district in north-west Uttar Pradesh, India) that we first studied in 1982-83.We explored demographic changes, educational experiences, aspects of gender politics (e.g. young women's schooling, prevalence and scale of dowry payments), commercialisation and the impact of economic liberalisation on village life. The project was funded by a grant from the Wellcome Trust.
Principal Investigator: Professor Patricia JefferySociology and Centre for South Asian Studies
Both villages have expanded rapidly (over 3% per year) although fertility has dropped by 13% in the Hindu village and by 1.5% in the Muslim village. Demographic pressure on the land and increased expenditures connected with consumerism are associated with more out-migration of young men in search of off-farm incomes. Schooling is increasingly important in structuring and reproducing social inequalities, but few poor women (whether Hindu or Muslim) have high levels of schooling.
Liberalisation and the creeping privatisation of health services have accelerated since 1992, and the poor quality government health services of 1982-83 have deteriorated further. Villagers do not use the run-down government health services for maternity care and poor women-especially from ex-Untouchable groups and Muslims-are inhibited from using government health services by discriminatory practices of the staff and the uncertain and often excessive costs of nominally 'free' services. Private maternity clinics, however, offer only a few antenatal or preventative services, and are costly. The inappropriate use of injections of synthetic oxytocin for labour augmentation (administered by untrained practitioners, after inadequate assessments, in the labouring woman's home, and without monitoring) has risen from 13% to 50% of deliveries. Hospital deliveries have risen from about 1% to 10%, almost all unplanned, and often bankrupting poor families. Neo-natal mortality rates increased, child (under-5) deaths declined but gender differentials in mortality increased. In the Hindu village, the sex ratio at birth rose from 1293 to 1412 males per 1000 females, whereas in the Muslim village it declined from 1036 to 940. Interviews with doctors running ultra-sound clinics reinforced our understandings of the social distribution of sex preferences and female foeticide.
2006: Patricia Jeffery and Roger Jeffery: Confronting Saffron Demography: Religion, fertility and women's status in India (Three Essays Collective, New Delhi), x + 162 pp. ISBN 81-88789-38-0 (Hb) and 81-88789-40-2 (Pb) http://www.threeessays.com/titles.php?id=26
2007: Roger Jeffery, Patricia Jeffery and Mohan Rao: “Safe Motherhood Initiatives: Contributions from Small-scale Studies”, Indian Journal of Gender Studies, 14, 2: 285-294 (Report of the project dissemination workshop)
2007: Patricia Jeffery, Abhijit Das, Jashodhara Dasgupta, and Roger Jeffery: “Unmonitored Intrapartum Oxytocin use in Home Deliveries: Evidence from Uttar Pradesh, India”, in Reproductive Health Matters 15, 30: 172-178
Forthcoming 2008: Patricia Jeffery, Roger Jeffery and Craig Jeffrey: “Disputing Contraception: Muslim reform, secular change and fertility”, in Filippo Osella and Caroline Osella (eds): Special volume of Modern Asian Studies (based on papers presented at SOAS workshop on Islamic Reform, May 2005)
Forthcoming 2008: Patricia Jeffery and Roger Jeffery: “'Money itself discriminates': Obstetric emergencies in the time of liberalisation”, Contributions to Indian Sociology
Forthcoming: Roger Jeffery and Patricia Jeffery: Governmentality and Reproduction: Villagers, the State, and Population in Rural Bijnor, 1982-2004, in Diane Mines and Nicolas Yazgi (eds): Do Villages Matter? (Based on papers presented at 18th European Modern South Asian Studies Conference, Lund, July 2004)
This page was published on 15 February 2010