The Husband and His Family: Major Influencers of Family Planning Use in Malawi

Reena Borwankar, FHI 360
P Matthews Ngwale, Footprints Research, Malawi
Patricia Choi, FHI 360
Eyob Asbu, FHI 360

In the African traditional setting, the husband and his family constitute part of a woman’s significant others since they have strong influence on her fertility and family planning (FP) decisions and behaviors and other domestic roles. In most cases, the desires and opinions of the husband and his family supersede the woman’s in matters relating to fertility, FP and child care. Despite the increasing role of women in fertility and FP decisions in Africa over time, the existence of cultural practices and social realities that make a woman acquiesce to her family-in-law’s fertility and FP desires will influence her ability/willingness to use FP. Using focus group discussions conducted in rural and urban Malawi in February/March 2011, this study examines how fertility desires and family planning attitudes of a woman’s husband and his family influence her (the woman’s) use of FP. The factors that inform attitudes to contraceptive use are highlighted.

  See extended abstract

Presented in Poster Session 7