Women’s experience regarding the role of health centers in empowering them for family planning

Shahnaz Kohan, Masoumeh Simbar, Fariba Taleghani


  • Background: Nowadays, the concept of family planning has been detached from the population control and it is expressed as an essential element in women’s reproductive rights, empowering them and promoting their status in society. Family planning services have an important role in fertility decisions using contraception methods in women. This study was carried out to explore the experience of women from the role of health centers in empowering them for family planning.
  • Materials and Methods: This qualitative study was performed on 37 married women who were volunteer and eligible for contraception as well as 8 staffs and directors of family planning services. They were selected useing purposeful sampling method in Isfahan, Iran. Data were collected by recording discussions of focused group in 7 sessions and 5 individual interviews. Conventional content analysis was used for coding and classification of data.
  • Findings: Participants descriptions about the role of health centers in empowering the family planning was classified into 4 main categories including: encouraging male’s participation in family planning, providing comprehensive reproductive health services, expanding free services for family planning and appropriate technology for public awareness.
  • Conclusions: Accessibility to health centers and offering free services for family planning are not sufficient for empowering women in terms of their fertility desires. The health centers should offer comprehensive reproductive health services and provide family planning services with a new approach for helping women and men to consciously and freely make a responsible decision in order to have more control over their fertility.
  • Key words: Women empowerment, family planning, health centers, Iran

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