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Power relations and negotiations in contraceptive decision-making when husbands oppose family planning: analysis of ethnographic vignette couple data in Southwest Nigeria.

Authors
  • Adanikin, Abiodun Idowu1, 2
  • McGrath, Nuala1, 3
  • Padmadas, Sabu S1
  • 1 Department of Social Statistics and Demography and Centre for Global Health, Population, Poverty and Policy, University of Southampton, Southampton, UK.
  • 2 Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Ekiti State University, Ado-Ekiti, Nigeria. , (Niger)
  • 3 Primary Care and Population Studies Academic Unit, Faculty of Medicine, University of Southampton, Southampton, UK.
Type
Published Article
Journal
Culture, health & sexuality
Publication Date
Dec 01, 2019
Volume
21
Issue
12
Pages
1439–1451
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1080/13691058.2019.1568576
PMID: 30762484
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

Contraceptive use in Nigeria has remained low at less than 15% for over two decades. Although husbands' opposition is acknowledged as one of the factors impeding women's contraceptive use, little is known about how wives negotiate when their husbands oppose family planning. We addressed this research gap by conducting thematic analyses of qualitative data from 30 interviews of married couples. We employed thematic analysis to identify relevant themes from the transcribed data. The findings clearly demonstrate attitudes highlighting an imbalance in power relations and contraceptive decision-making within marital relationships. By initially complying with the husband's wish as a 'sign of honour', and then making further attempts at convincing him about family planning use, a woman can achieve her contraceptive target, or through the involvement of a third party. Wives are less empowered to overtly use contraceptives when their husbands oppose family planning. However, there are accepted justifications for covert use. The findings underscore the need to strengthen family planning interventions to enable behavioural change among Nigerian men, promote gender and reproductive health rights, and empower women with better negotiation skills.

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