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Unmet need among married women: examining socio-religious influences on family planning use in Rwanda, 2005-2015
Authors: Justin Mahoro
Source: International Journal of Human Rights in Healthcare , Online first; DOI: 10.1108/IJHRH-02-2018-0016
Topic(s): Contraception
Family planning
Religion
Unmet need
Country: Africa
  Rwanda
Published: AUG 2018
Abstract: Purpose The purpose of this paper is to determine the socio-religious factors associated with unmet need for family planning among married Rwandan women, and examine individual and contextual characteristics of married fecund women influencing their contraceptive use and future intentions to use contraception. Design/methodology/approach This study employed merge data, which were extracted from 2005, 2010, 2014–2015 Rwanda Demographic And Health Survey’s individual women data sets. Characteristics of married fecund women with unmet need for family planning were compared using Pearson’s ?2 test. A binary logistic regression analysis was applied to examine the influence of socio-religious factors on contraceptive use, and future intentions to use contraception among married fecund women. Findings Unmet need for family planning among married Rwandan women has significantly decreased over the past decade, from 39.9 percent in 2005 to 19.5 percent in 2010 and 17.5 percent in 2015. Women who are Protestants, residing in rural area, and having five or more children were significantly more likely to have an unmet need for family planning. Overall, the likelihood of having unmet need for family planning, not using contraceptives and future intentions for not using contraception was found statistically high among Protestant women compared to Catholics and low-educated women. Research limitations/implications Unmarried women and men are not included to examine their role play and characteristics influences on family planning use in Rwanda. Investing in education of girls should be a priority for the future, without that there will not be equality in reproductive health and rights. Factors behind the recent slow motion of family planning initiatives need to be addressed in order to meet the reproductive needs and rights of all women. Practical implications Public-religious collaboration to promote nationally Natural Family Planning in all healthcare facilities is extremely needed. Since the family planning initiatives have been recently very slow, investing in behavioral change programs through mass communication seems deliberately prudent. Social implications Investing in behavioral change programs and promoting sexual and reproductive health education would improve women’s social well-being. Originality/value This is the first-ever effort to examine the influence of the socio-religious values on family planning use among Rwandan fecund women. Keywords: Family planning, Contraceptives use, Demographic and health survey, Future contraceptive intentions, Religious belief, Unmet need