The GENDER Project

The GENDER (Gender Equity aNd DEmographic Research) Project is a collaborative research initiative between the UCSD Center on Gender Equity and Health in San Diego and the International Institute for Population Sciences in Mumbai. We have a two-pronged mandate: to explore gender inequities across India, and to train young scientists in interdisciplinary gender research.

The GENDER Project aims to deepen our understanding of the causes, correlates and consequences of gender inequities through application of novel and inter-disciplinary analytic approaches. Our research uses the National Family Health Survey, as well as other nationally and sub-nationally representative data in India. We work to inform evidence-based programs and policies to improve the health and status of women and girls, and ultimately, to support India’s achievement to Sustainable Development Goals 5 (Gender Equality and Empowerment) and 3 (Good Health and Well-Being). Our training fosters the use of advanced analytics in applied gender analysis to train emerging scholars from the two collaborating universities.

Supported By:

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Project Contact:

Lotus McDougal, lmcdouga@health.ucsd.edu

  1. Fonseka R, McDougal L, Raj A, Reed E, Lundgren R, Urada L, Silverman JG. (2022). Measuring the impacts of maternal child marriage and maternal intimate partner violence and the moderating effects of proximity to conflict on stunting among children under 5 in post-conflict Sri Lanka. SSM – Population Health. 18: 101074.
  2. Upadhyay A, Kumar K, James KS, McDougal L, Raj A, Singh A. (2022). Association between intimate partner violence and contraceptive use discontinuation in India. Studies in Family Planning. doi: 10.1111/sifp.12184
  3. Dehingia N, Dey AK, McDougal L, McAuley J, Singh A, Raj A. (2022). Help seeking behavior by women experiencing intimate partner violence in India: a machine learning approach to identifying risk factors. PLoS ONE 17(2): e0262538.
  4. Fonseka R, McDougal L, Raj A, Reed E, Lundgren R, Urada L, Silverman JG. (2022). Does proximity to conflict zones moderate associations between child marriage, intimate partner violence and contraception in post-conflict Sri Lanka? Advances in Global Health. 1(1): 1539582.
  5. Fonseka R, McDougal L, Raj A, Reed E, Lundgren R, Urada L, Silverman, JG. (2022). A mediation analysis of the role of girl child marriage in the relationship between proximity to conflict and past-year intimate partner violence in post-conflict Sri Lanka. Conflict and Health. 16(5).
  6. McDougal L, Dehingia N, Bhan N, Singh A, McAuley J, Raj A. (2021). Opening closed doors: Using machine learning to explore factors associated with marital sexual violence in India. BMJ Open.11:e053603.
  7. Goemans S, Singh A, Yadav AK, McDougal L, Raj A, Averbach S. (2021). The association between intimate partner violence and self-managed abortion: A cross-sectional analysis among women in India. AJOG Global Reports. 1(4).
  8. Raj A, Dehingia N, Singh A, McAuley J, McDougal L. (2021). Machine learning analysis of non-marital sexual violence in India. EClinical Medicine. 39:101046.
  9. Singh A, Chokhandre P, Singh AK, Barker KM, Kumar K, McDougal L, James KS, Raj A. (2021). Development of the India Patriarchy Index: Validation and Testing of Temporal and Spatial Patterning. Social Indicators Research.
  10. McDougal, L., Singh, A., Kumar, K., Dehingia, N., Barros, A. J., Ewerling, F., … & Raj, A. (2021). Planning for work: Exploring the relationship between contraceptive use and women’s sector-specific employment in India. PLoS ONE, 16(3), e0248391.
  11. Singh, A., Kumar, K., Yadav, A. K., James, K. S., McDougal, L., Atmavilas, Y., & Raj, A. (2021). Factors Influencing the Sex Ratio at Birth in India: A New Analysis based on Births Occurring between 2005 and 2016. Studies in Family Planning.
  12. Kayser, G. L., Chokhandre, P., Rao, N., Singh, A., McDougal, L., & Raj, A. (2021). Household sanitation access and risk for non-marital sexual violence among a nationally representative sample of women in India, 2015-16. SSM-Population Health, 13, 100738.
  13. Kannaujiya AK, Kumar K, Upadhyay AK, McDougal L, Raj A, Singh A. (2020). Short interpregnancy interval and low birth weights in India: evidence from National Family Health Survey 2015-16. Population Health. 12:100700.
  14. McDougal L, Shakya H, Dehingia N, Lapsansky C, Conrad D, Bhan N, Singh A, McDougal, TL, Raj A. (2020). Mapping the patchwork: Exploring the subnational heterogeneity of child marriage in India. Population Health. 12:100688.
  15. Raj A, Dehingia N, Singh A, McDougal L, McAuley, J. (2020). Application of machine learning to understand child marriage in India. Population Health. 12:100687.
  16. Kumar, K., Singh, A., James, K. S., McDougal, L., & Raj, A. (2020). Gender Bias in Hospitalization Financing from Borrowings, Selling of Assets, Contribution from Relatives or Friends in India. Social Science & Medicine, 113222.
  17. McDougal, L., Silverman, J. G., Singh, A., & Raj, A. (2020). Exploring the relationship between spousal violence during pregnancy and subsequent postpartum spacing contraception among first-time mothers in India. EClinicalMedicine, 100414.
  18. Bhan, N., McDougal, L., Singh, A., Atmavilas, Y., & Raj, A. (2020). Access to women physicians and uptake of reproductive, maternal and child health services in India. EClinicalMedicine 20: 1-7.
  19. Bhan, N., Rao, N., & Raj, A. (2020). Gender Differences in the Associations between Informal Caregiving and Wellbeing in Low-and Middle-Income Countries. Journal of Women’s Health.
  20. Raj, A., Singh, A., Silverman, J. G., Bhan, N., Barker, K. M., & McDougal, L. (2020). Freedom of Movement and Adolescent Sexual Violence in India. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 0886260520918583.
  21. Raj, A., Johns, N.E., McDougal, L., Trivedi, A., Bharadwaj, P., Silverman, J.G., Kumar, K., Ladusingh, L., Singh, A. (2019) Associations Between Sex Composition of Older Siblings and Infant Mortality in India from 1992 to 2016. EClinicalMedicine 14:14-22.
  22. Singh, A., Kumar, K., McDougal, L., Silverman, J.G., Atmavilas, Y., Gupta, R., & Raj, A. (2019). Does owning a bank account improve reproductive and maternal health services utilization and behavior in India? Evidence from the National Family Health Survey 2015-16. SSM-Population Health, 7.
  23. McDougal, L., Klugman, J., Dehingia, N., Trivedi, A., & Raj, A. (2019). Financial inclusion and intimate partner violence: What does the evidence suggest? PLoS ONE 14(10): e0223721.
  24. Dehingia, N., Singh, A., Raj, A., McDougal, L. (2019). More than credit: Exploring associations between microedit programs and maternal and reproductive health service utilization in India. SSM-Population Health 9.
  25. McDougal, L., Krumholz, S., Bhan, N., Bharadwaj, P., & Raj, A. (2018). Releasing the tide: how has a shock to the acceptability of gender-based sexual violence affected rape reporting to police in India? Journal of Interpersonal Violence: 1-23.
  • Machine learning algorithms
  • Lasso
  • Geospatial analysis
  • Multinomial Propensity Score Matching
  • Time series analysis
  • Triangulation
  • Economic inequities and women’s health
  • Sexual violence
  • Water, sanitation and hygiene
  • Son preference
  • Health and care provision
  • Disease risk

Principal Investigator

  • Lotus McDougal, PhD, MPH Agency for All
    Technical Director for Measurement

    Assistant Professor
    Infectious Diseases & Global Public Health School of Medicine



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