FACTORS INFLUENCING THE ATTITUDE OF WOMEN TOWARDS FAMILY PLANNING IN NIGERIA
The purpose of this study is to find out the factors that influence the attitudes of women towards family planning in Egor Local Government Area of Edo State. Specifically, the study attempts to find out the influence of education, health, religion, culture, age of women and income on the attitudes of women towards family planning.
This research work deals with the types of contraceptive methods, importance of family planning and the benefits of family planning. The subjects were selected using simple random sampling. A total of 100 questionnaires were administered to subjects of the target population which are the educated women randomly selected from five communities under Egor Local Government: Uselu, Uwasota, Osasogie, Evbareke, Osakpamwan. The data collected were analyzed using percentage approach and the results showed that:
- Women recognize the impact of family planning on their families.
- Family planning is an opportunity for couples to actually plan their family towards better standard of living.
Recommendations were made based on findings from the data analyzed, amongst which are that:
- There should be enlightenment programmes to educate people on the need for family planning.
- Incentives should be provided for couples that practice family planning so as to encourage more people towards it.
Background of the Study
Family planning as the name implies is having children by choice and not by chance; it is the process of having specific number of children at intervals acceptable by individuals or couples, to promote the health and welfare of the family. Family planning is not a new idea all over the world and also applies to Egor Local Government Area of Edo State. Throughout the ages, individuals and families have tried to regulate their fertility either by using herbs, abstinence during ovulation, prolonged breast feeding and living with parent in-laws to avoid sex or polygamy.
Historically, most communities in the past used to have policies that encourage large population. Traditionally, in Africa, the low level of economic development and heavy reliance on agriculture have brought about several factors that encourage high fertility. In addition, according to Namboze J.M.E. (1985), religious and cultural traditions favour large families because children are expected to help their parents financially and to ensure a kind of family immortality by continuity of the family name.
African women traditionally have played major roles in agricultural production, though their primary roles are that of wives and mothers having limited right as subordinates to the males in the household. The status of women is further eroded by the practice of polygamy because they have limited opportunities. At the societal level, child bearing is therefore an important way for them to gain status through the number of children raised.