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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Maternal crises and the role of African men: the case of a Nigerian community
Author:Nwokocha, Ezebunwa E.ISNI
Periodical:African Population Studies
Geographic term:Nigeria
gender roles
family planning
women's health
Abstract:Studies have consistently shown that maternal processes in Africa are prone to crises as a result of multiple socioeconomic and religious factors. A combination of male domination, low status of women, poverty, cultural beliefs and practices and high fertility affects pregnancy outcomes in most societies in the continent and especially in sub-Saharan Africa. With very few exceptions, African communities are patriarchal and as such norms, values and expectations are defined and sustained by men in virtually all spheres of life. This paper, which focuses on the Ibani of Rivers State, Nigeria, examines the role of African men during maternal periods. The study reveals that men do not play roles during pregnancy-postpartum processes that are significantly different from their normal activities because pregnancy is perceived as a normal condition, which does not require special attention. The results also indicate that pregnancy outcomes among the Ibani do not necessarily derive from spousal communication and gender discourse because 87.7 percent of women whose husbands were solely responsible for decisions on child spacing recorded more pregnancy outcomes with mother and child survival than those whose husbands did not. Enhancing the role of men during maternal processes is a critical factor in ensuring that pregnancies are less vulnerable to mishaps. Consequently, educating men on the need for family planning, child spacing and moderate family size will improve pregnancy outcomes significantly. Bibliogr., notes, sum. [Journal abstract]