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Couple’s agreement and disagreement on fertility intention: an insight on the reproductive decision process in a polygamous community in northern Malawi

Angela Baschieri, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM)
Sian Floyd, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM)
Neil French, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM)
Albert L.N. Dube, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM)
Judith R. Glynn, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM)
Emmanuel Banda, Karonga Prevention Study (KPS)
Anna Molesworth, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM)
Aulive Msona, Karonga Prevention Study (KPS)

There is now widespread agreement of the importance of men's role in reproductive decision making. A number of studies have argued that the translation of fertility preference into reproductive decision – the couple's fertility decision making process - is different in polygamous than in monogamous union. Studies investigating the dominance of men's preferences over women's preferences, in cases of couple disagreement found mixed evidence of the effect of polygamy. However, an often cited limitation of these studies has been the inability to link husband's intention with each of his wives in a polygamous union. By linking fertility-intention questions to an on-going Demographic Surveillance Site in Karonga district in Northern Malawi we will investigate wife's and husband's fertility preferences by marriage characteristics. An analysis of the use of contraception and level of agreement and disagreement is then performed to gain an insight on the reproductive decision making process of polygamous couples.

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Presented in Poster Session 2: Poster Session 2: fertility, family and children