Women’s Social Networks, Family Planning Use and Unmet Need: Formative Research Findings from Terikunda Jékulu
In preparation for a campaign that was to be carried out in Mali (but was then moved to Benin following a political coup in Mali in 2012), formative research was carried out in two sites to look at the dynamics between network size, function, composition and density and the diffusion of ideas about family planning and fertility generally.
The aim of the research was to address the role of women’s social networks in facilitating or hindering family planning acquisition and use. In both villages, women using family planning perceived that it helped them avoid short birth intervals which were damaging to the health of both the mother and child. By contrast, men placed greater emphasis on the economic benefits for the household. They thought spaced children were likely to be healthier and, unlike children born after short birth intervals, would not require regular and costly medical treatment.
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