Male partner’s involvement in decisions regarding the acceptance, adoption and use of various reproductive and child health services was recognized long back. However, efforts to seek their active participation was not made till early 21st century and even after the launch of RCH programme phase-I in India. Majorly the programme remained focused around the eligible women of reproductive ages (15-45 years). Also, it was a difficult task to convince males due to male dominated patriarchal set up of larger Indian society barring few exceptions. Therefore, the current analytical study was undertaken with the major objective- “To analyze and understand the status of level of participation and role of male partners of eligible women as source and tool (activities) of Information, Education and Communication (IEC) for sharing information and taking decision on availing and adopting Reproductive and Child Health (RCH) Services provided by the government under RCH programme”. Information was obtained from 295 eligible women selected using random sampling from 08 villages of 02 development blocks of Lucknow district of Uttar Pradesh. Tools used for quantitative and qualitative data collection were interview schedule and 08 FGDs (Focus Group Discussions) for eligible women and another 08 FGDs for their male partners. Findings revealed an extremely critical role of male partners of eligible women from rural Uttar Pradesh as a source and tool (activities) of Information, Education and Communication (IEC) for sharing information and in taking decision about availing and adopting Reproductive and Child Health (RCH) Services provided by the government under RCH programme and calls for the need to tap this invaluable resource for better outcomes.
Keyword: Male Involvement; RCH Services; Rural Uttar Pradesh; Gender; Male Partner;