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An Interpretation of Fertility and Population Policy in Kenya

Odile Frank and Geoffrey McNicoll
Population and Development Review
Vol. 13, No. 2 (Jun., 1987), pp. 209-243
Published by: Population Council
DOI: 10.2307/1973192
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1973192
Page Count: 35
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
An Interpretation of Fertility and Population Policy in Kenya
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Abstract

Two decades of government antinatalist efforts in Kenya have had negligible effect on the level of fertility, which is now close to eight births per woman, higher than in the 1950s. This article seeks to explain why Kenyan fertility is so high and why efforts to reduce it have failed. It is argued that the fertility level is a consequence of a family system in which patriarchal control of households is combined with little economic responsibility by men for their children. Population policy has not been concerned with such features of the social structure. Changes in the family system are nonetheless taking place: their direction and likely fertility effects are explored.

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