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    071363

    Fertility-related, husband wife communication in Zimbabwe: an indicative qualitative analysis.

    Makomva R; Falala S; Johnston T

    In: African research studies in population information, education and communication, compiled and edited by Tony Johnston, Aart de Zeeuw, and Waithira Gikonyo. Nairobi, Kenya, United Nations Population Fund [UNFPA], 1991. 1-12.

    40 couples participated in separate focus group discussions each with 10 single sex individuals either in the city of Harare, Zimbabwe or at a rural center. Researchers also conducted indepth interviews with 25 couples. The wanted to examine husband-wife communication concerning fertility management. Only younger married women, especially those in Harare, included family planning issues as topics of occasional communication. Urban young married women tended to be more educated than older and rural women. Older rural women tended to avoid discussions concerning marital interpersonal relationships. Men believed that women had much opportunity to talk and to make decisions about family welfare such as household management and child care. Yet women did not feel that they had the opportunity to discuss issues. In fact, they believed that the men made fertility decisions while the men believed these decisions were mainly up to the women. Some men did mention, like urban young married women, that ideally these decisions should be made jointly, however. Men were uncomfortable talking to the researchers about fertility management decisions. Both men and women were reluctant to discuss who initiates discussions on family planning. Basically women do not because they are afraid and men only initiate discussion when things go wrong. Women did have a tendency to use inference or indirect inference to initiate family planning discussions. For example, the neighbors' children have new school uniforms actually means they have a small family and can afford them. Women also used repetitional offhand reminders and bargaining or negotiating position. Men's fear that the male command structure within the family (the status quo) will not be maintained and women's fear that making fertility management decisions would threaten their marriage were barriers to husband-wife communication concerning family planning.
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