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Spousal Communication, Power, and Contraceptive Use in Burkina Faso, West Africa
Authors: Roger Klomegah
Source: Marriage & Family Review, 40(2-3): 89-105; DOI: 10.1300/J002v40n02_05
Topic(s): Contraception
Family planning
Country: Africa
  Burkina Faso
Published: OCT 2008
Abstract: In most developing countries, despite increased knowledge and approval of family planning, contraceptive use is still low. Lack of spousal communication was identified as an important explanatory factor in the low level contraceptive use by spouses. This study describes the pathways of influence between spousal communication, power, and contraceptive use in Burkina Faso, West Africaa high fertility country with low prevalence of contraceptive use. The Burkina Faso society is patriarchal in which husbands have control over sexual and fertility matters and they extend authority over their wives on these issues and, therefore, the power dimension of the spousal communication model needs clarification. The data source for this paper was the 2003 Burkina Faso Demographic and Health Survey. From the individual recode file, married respondents were selected for inclusion in the sample (n = 9,537) and for analysis. The independent variables were spousal communication and relative power. The dependent variables were contraceptive use and the effects of age, education, number of living children, wealth, and marriage types were adjusted for. Results show that education, wealth, place of residence, and religion are some of the correlates of inter-spousal communication about contraceptive use. Additionally, the data have revealed that spousal communication and marital power were important and significant predictors of contraceptive use, with relative marital power being the Stronger predictor of the two. Key Words • Communication, • contraception, • power, • family planning