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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Family Planning in Nigeria: Not Yet UHURU
Author:Tunde, LawuyiISNI
Periodical:African Anthropology (ISSN 1024-0969)
Geographic term:Nigeria
Subjects:family planning
Women's Issues
Health and Nutrition
Family Planning and Contraception
Abstract:Traditional patrilineal and polygynous families in many Nigerian cultures are extensions of the search for self-fulfilment. Sex reflects an underlying assumption that the essence of a person is to fulfil a divinely set purpose, and children, marriage and sex are seen as intricately connected in the pursuit of social status. Modern family planning digresses from the traditional rationality based on the symbolic order by emphasizing a priori decisions about the number and spacing of children. Whereas in the traditional framework the goals are framed in terms of prestige and status ranking, modern family planning advocates think in terms of family health and welfare, women's liberation and human rights. Nigeria's population policy of 1988, whose goals arise from a welfare-State agenda, while representing a far more conscious understanding of the interconnectedness of family planning, natural resources and population growth than any other document so far produced by the State on these issues, nonetheless ignores the risks that gender and religious perceptions can create. The policy limits the number of children a woman can have to four; men's fertility remains unrestricted. This has led women to raise questions about the uncontrolled sexuality of men, while Christians have protested on the grounds that the policy favours the numerical increase of Muslims, who can legitimately have more than one wife. Bibliogr., notes, sum.