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Factors Influencing the Number of Children Born to Working Women in Bangladesh: A Population-Based Study

Author(s): Md. Rashed Alam, Md. Aminur Rahman, Yothin Sawangdee*

Background: The satisfaction of external jobs and education, which can be substituted for those of child-rearing, have a significant impact on women's working status, which is inversely associated with fertility. The aim of this study is to find out the factors influencing the number of children of working women.

Methods: This study examined a total of 18861 working women in Bangladesh, using a nationally representative survey. This study considered working women and the number of children as the dependent variable and various respondents and their husband education, age at first marriage, wealth index, contraceptive use, place of residence and religion were considered as the independent variable. Multiple classification analysis with the number of children is the dependent variable and a set of independent variables was used to determine the influential factors on working women.

Results: The number of children is most influenced by the respondent's education and another influence is the age of the first marriage and wealth index. Rural women have greater fertility than urban women, and Muslim respondents had a higher number of births than non-Muslim respondents. The number of children is significantly negative effects on both respondents and their husband education, age at first marriage and wealth index in both three models.

Conclusion: Greater involvement of women in working/employment/ labor force is not the main reason for fertility decline in Bangladesh. These findings illustrate how important it is to consider women’s education, husband education, age at first marriage and wealth index should be influential factors of the number of children of working women. Finally, it may conclude that improving the educational status of both wife and husband and reducing early marriage and same time marriageable age should be increased for both males and females.

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