Marginalised Lives: Infertility, Childlessness, and Healthcare Seeking in Resource-poor Settings in Nepal and India

What are the challenges of infertility in terms of public health concerns and social marginalisation in resource-poor settings in Nepal and India?

Project Summary

Infertility in the developing South has remained largely invisible as a major reproductive health challenge and a serious public health concern. The overall aim of the project is to contribute to a robust and in-depth understanding of infertility as a major public health concern and how it creates conditions for social marginalisation and impacts well-being and social integration.

The project seeks to explain the neglected incidence of infertility in resource-poor settings of Nepal and India. The project’s research sites offer an unprecedented opportunity to make research-led interventions into the silent but swift emergence of preventable infertility burdens in the developing South. The cross-national perspective is essential for supporting data-driven policy formulation and from the perspective of fostering proactive outreach activities. The project is built around a multi-sited ethnographic methodology that maps the infertility terrain and its correlates through identifying and linking a diverse set of stakeholders. In doing so, the project offers to build a comprehensive terrain map profiling infertility prevalence, etiologic causes, social stigma and marginalization, treatment options and healthcare-seeking behaviour, patterns of seeking out informal and traditional interventions.

The analysis will be located within a detailed review of the current state of healthcare governance, national priorities and policies, and public and private partnerships in infertility care for the poor. The interdisciplinary team will draw upon approaches from anthropology, sociology, demography, development studies, policy studies, and biomedical expertise ranging from gynecology to public health. The team has strong partners in NGOs working within the framework of human rights perspective with a strong understanding of ground realities and years of active field experience in local framing and the implementation of reproductive healthcare initiatives.

Research Team

Aditya Bharadwaj
The Graduate Institute

Christine Lutringer
The Graduate Institute

Hélène Bayeux
Principal Member
International Foundation for Population and Development (IFPD)

Nadimpally Sarojini
Principal Member
Sama Resource Group for Women and Health

Renu Rajbhandari
Principal Member

Alaka Basu
Associated Member
Cornell University

Jyoti Sanghera
Associated Member
OHCHR United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights







India, Nepal

Host Institution