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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Towards understanding low contraceptive prevalence in African societies
Author:Kamuzora, C.L.
Periodical:The African Review: A Journal of African Politics, Development and International Affairs
Notes:biblio. refs.
Geographic terms:Subsaharan Africa
Subjects:family planning
Birth control
Cultural values
Abstract:Evidence from demographic and health surveys indicates that in Africa south of the Sahara there is a low contraceptive prevalence. The author seeks to identify and understand factors associated with low contraceptive prevalence in sub-Saharan Africa by looking at the experiences of developing countries in Asia. In East and Southeast Asia rapid fertility decline followed socioeconomic structural changes, notably a rise in female education and participation in nonagricultural occupations. The propensity to limit family size is linked with the emancipation of women in the area of education and literacy, leading to exposure to and acceptance of new ideas. In South Asia, by contrast, fertility has hardly declined, and the author links this to patriarchy and the associated low status of women, more so than to Islam. In Africa, too, low contraceptive prevalence could be associated with patriarchy and what the author terms women's 'cultural circumscription'. Motivation to limit fertility is low. The negative aspects of patriarchy, and low economic security, particularly in old age, are responsible for the heavy reliance on children, hence a double-barrelled pronatalism, entrenched at both the macro and microlevels. The question is how to break out. Bibliogr.