He said, she said: partner communication and contraceptive use in urban Kenya

Katherine Tumlinson, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Family planning programs have traditionally targeted women. The 1994 International Conference on Population and Development recognized the potential impact of targeting couples, suggesting that male participation may be a key strategy for reducing unmet need for family planning. Some evidence indicates that increasing access to information for males and improving spousal communication may increase contraceptive use. Using recent data from the Measurement, Learning & Evaluation (MLE) Project in Kenya, this presentation explores the extent to which urban-dwelling couples talk about and agree on fertility preferences in Nairobi, Mombasa, and Kisumu. Results indicate that 28 percent of couples have never discussed family planning, partner concordance on fertility preferences is low (62 percent), and nearly one in five males believes their partner should not be allowed to use family planning. This session will also identify and discuss successful interventions designed to increase male involvement, highlighting areas where further investigation is needed.

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Presented in Session 56: Men’s roles in family planning