Skip to main content


Morgan, S. Philip & Niraula, Bhanu B. (1995). Gender Inequality and Fertility in Two Nepali Villages. Population and Development Review, 21(3), 541-561.


Surveys in two Nepali villages were designed to advance understanding of the relationship between gender inequality and fertility. One village, Benighat, is in the central hills, 75 kilometers southwest of Kathmandu; the second, Bagahi, is in the plains (tarai), 200 kilometers south of Kath- mandu and close to the Indian border. We chose the villages because they display a sharp contrast in gender inequality, especially in women's au- tonomy. Following arguments developed by Dyson and Moore (1983), we argue that greater autonomy reduces fertility. Specifically, we hypoth- esize that it reduces the desire for more children, increases contraceptive use, and lowers levels of "unmet need" for contraception. Our empirical work confirms these hypotheses and, thus, supports claims that gender inequality in particular, and social context in general, are important fertil- ity determinants.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

Population and Development Review


Morgan, S. Philip
Niraula, Bhanu B.