Document Type : Research Paper


1 Professor of Demography, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Tehran, &Future Fellow, Australian Demographic and Social Research Institute, The Australian National University.

2 M.A in Demography, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Tehran


Like many developed and developing societies, Iran has experienced sharp fertility decline
and reached below- replacement level fertility. As women have a major role in childbearing,
their empowerment and autonomy will lead to changes in their fertility behavior, and many
studies have focused on various aspects of women's autonomy and fertility. This paper
examines the relationship between women’s autonomy and fertility behavior in theSirjan city.
The data is drawn from the 2011 survey that collected information from around 400 women
of reproductive ages (15-49) in the Sirjan city in southeastern part of Iran. The results showed
that the relationship between women’s autonomy and fertility is insignificant when other
social and economicindicators (i.e. social participation, education and employment) are
controlled. The results of the logistic regression analysis indicated that among all different
variables, social participation of women and their education level are the strong determinants
of dependent variable; as childbearing intention reduces with the rise in these two variables.
Women’s age and children ever born are the other two important variables affecting
childbearing intentions. Given the results of this study, population policies in Iran in order to
facilitate childbearing for couples should provide opportunities in which women could be able
to continue their education, have their social participation as well as promoting childbearing.