Political Involvement and Contraceptive Behaviour among Women in Nigeria

Kola A. Oyediran, Centre for Development and Population Activities (CEDPA)
Charles H. Teller, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)

Few studies have examined empirically the influence of women's political participation on contraceptive behaviour. Using data from a multi-stage probability survey of ever-married women aged 15-49 conducted in Plateau State, Nigeria, in 2002/3, this paper explores the association between exposure to civic and electoral activities, women's empowerment and contraceptive behaviour. The results indicate that the likelihood of modern contraceptive use is significantly greater among women who exercise high political activism, holding sociodemographic variables constant. Women of the Church of Christ in Nigeria (COCIN) religious denomination are significantly more likely than non-COCIN members to be currently using modern contraceptives. Logistic regression analysis reveals that group affiliation has the strongest independent influence, while political participation may operate through SES and exposure to governance activities. The results suggest that political exposure and an empowering affiliation in solidarity groups affect women's self-confidence in influencing husband's approval--goals central to population and reproductive health policy.

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Presented in Session 146: Reproductive Health in Developing Countries II