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Women and High Fertility in Islamic Northern Nigeria

Chimaraoke O. Izugbara and Alex C. Ezeh
Studies in Family Planning
Vol. 41, No. 3 (SEPTEMBER 2010), pp. 193-204
Published by: Population Council
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/27896264
Page Count: 12
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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.
Women and High Fertility in Islamic Northern Nigeria
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Abstract

Research on fertility trends in Islamic northern Nigeria has rarely sought the perspectives of the people of that region concerning the causes of high fertility in the area. Relying on qualitative data elicited from women in northwestern Nigeria, we explore their views on high fertility in the region. A principal finding is that respondents ascribed to their husbands the responsibility for high parity; these women reported deliberately giving birth to many children in order to inhibit men's tendency to divorce or engage in plural marriage. We contend that the social meanings that women ascribe to their husbands' behaviors and the ways they respond to them are significant contributors to current high fertility in northern Nigeria.

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