Since family planning is actively and routinely promoted in loan group meetings, loan workshops, and training sessions, the primary group influence may have been a critical mechanism in promoting fertility regulation among the loan recipients of GB, BRAC, and BRDB.
All these show how the income-generating programmes of GB, BRAC, and BRDB can create an institutional context that can bolster both the social power of primary group and social institution to bear on matters of independent decisionmaking fertility, fertility regulation, or reproductive attitude and behaviour.
Data collected from two different samples-one drawn from the female recipients of collateral-free loans of the GB, BRAC, and BRDB (experimental group) and another from a comparable group of non-recipients of any institutionally-based loan benefits in the corresponding neighbouring areas--have been utilised to test the hypothesis that participation in income-generating activities by the rural poor women is likely to have a favourable effect on their independent household decision-makings as well as fertility and fertility behaviour.
5 acres of land is strictly followed by the GB and the BRAC, this policy is less strictly followed by the BRDB [See Chowdhury (1990)].
At the first stage, a random sample of the branches of GB, programme areas of BRAC, and Thanas (administrative sub-district) of BRDB, and their corresponding comparison groups were selected with a systematic sampling procedure (random start and fixed interval).
Characteristics of the Women Beneficiaries of GB, BRAC, and BRDB, and their Counterpart Non-beneficiaries
The higher average age of beneficiaries might have resulted from the fact that some respondents were selected from a pool of women who had been members of GB, BRAC, and BRDB for some time (e.
Table 2 shows the distribution of some demographic variables and other characteristics of our respondents by the number of times they received loans from the income-generating programmes of GB, BRAC, and BRDB.
For this reason, in our survey, we collected information on the respondents' contraceptive status both before and after participation in the income-generating projects of GB, BRAC, and BRDB.
Only in recent time, either due to modern influence or due to opportunities, created mostly by GB, BRAC, and BRDB for participation in income-generating activities outside home, they have started to move about in public.