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.

Funded By:

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Project Contact:

Lotus McDougal, lmcdouga@health.ucsd.edu


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16.  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.
  17. 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.




Connecting the Dots between Contraception Use and Women’s Employment



To What Lengths Do We Go to Pay for Hospitalization in Men Versus Women in India? 



Partner Violence During Pregnancy and Postpartum Contraception in India



Gender Gaps in School Attendance in Rural India



Non-Marital Sexual Violence In The Past Year



Non-Marital Sexual Violence Against Adolescents (15-19) In The Past Year

  • 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


Anita Raj, UCSD                                                                            K.S. James, IIPS
Lotus McDougal, UCSD                                                              Abhishek Singh, IIPS
Jennifer Yore, UCSD                                                                    Kaushalendra Kumar, IIPS
Namratha Rao, UCSD                                                                 Praveen Chokandre, IIPS
Nabamallika Dehingia, UCSD                                                  Ajeet Singh, IIPS                                                                                                                                                    Ajit Kumar Yadav, IIPS

Principal Investigator

  • Anita Raj, PhD, MS
    Infectious Diseases & Global Public Health, School of Medicine



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