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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 61  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 26-32

Awareness of legal and social issues related to reproductive health among adolescent girls in rural Varanasi


1 Professor, Department of Community Medicine, Institute of Medical Sciences, Varanasi, India
2 Assistant Professor, VKM College, Varanasi, India
3 Assistant Professor, Division of Biostatistics, Department of Community Medicine, Institute of Medical Sciences, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, India

Correspondence Address:
Alok Kumar
Department of Community Medicine, Division of Biostatistics, Institute of Medical Sciences, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi - 221 005, Uttar Pradesh
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0019-557X.200248

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Background: Data on awareness of adolescent's on the legal and social issues/acts related to reproductive health, especially in rural areas, are scarce. Objectives: The aim of the present cross-sectional study is to assess the awareness level of legal and social issues related to reproductive health and its association with the various individual and family/household level characteristics. Methods: 650 adolescent girls in the age group of 15–19 years were interviewed with the help of pretested and semistructured questionnaire and focus group discussions were also conducted for qualitative findings in Chiraigaon block of district Varanasi. Results: It was observed that 42.9% of the respondents were aware of legal age of marriage, 14.9% knew about the right age of childbearing. Dowry prohibition act and domestic violence act were known to 46% and 27% respondents, respectively, and only 2.6% were aware of medical termination of pregnancy act. Logistic regression analysis shows the significant effect of education on awareness of legal age of marriage, right age of childbearing, domestic violence, and dowry prohibition acts, which is also supported by qualitative findings. Conclusion: All the important legal issues/acts should be included in high school curriculum and female teachers should be involved in training program for adolescents. Role of mass media in creating awareness about these issues in their routine programs should be ascertained. Accredited Social Health Activist and Anganwadi workers should be aware of and include these issues/acts in adolescent meetings.


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