Socio-cultural perception and implication of childlessness in Nigeria.

Latifat Ibisomi, African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC)

Marriage as well as childbearing is almost universal in Nigeria. High premium is placed on having children for a number of reasons including cultural and religious. Both of these mentioned reasons have profound influence on the way of life of the people. Given this scenario, childlessness of individuals or couple is a highly sensitive issue. Drawing from twenty-four focus group discussion sessions conducted among men and women across Nigeria, the way people perceive childlessness and the implications it has for a man, woman and couple were explored. Results show that the perception of people regarding childlessness especially in a woman is often derogatory and judgmental. Childlessness also has a number of socio-economic as well as cultural implications. The study shows the need for reproductive health policies and programmes to assist individuals and couples (in particular, those experiencing infertility problems) to achieve their reproductive intentions.

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Presented in Poster Session 3