Gender-Equity and Reproductive Behaviour in Lagos State, Nigeria
The study examined the impact of gender differences on couples’ reproductive behaviour. The study was conducted in Ikeja, Ojo, Epe respectively representing urban, semi-urban and rural local government
areas of Lagos State. Quantitative and qualitative data were collected. A multi-stage sampling procedure was employed in the administration of 1072 structured questionnaire. Qualitative data was obtained through focus group discussion among selected males and females in selected age- groups. The main tool of analysis was the logistic regression employed to determine the relationship between couples reproductive behaviour on one hand and gender-equity variables on the other hand. The study findings indicated that female spouses desired lower family size than male spouses. Data analyses revealed that gender-equity in decision-making among female spouses were low in rural and semi-urban areas while only moderate in urban areas. It was low irrespective of type of marital union. Gender-equity in decisionmaking on the number of children was higher for educated spouses than noneducated spouses. Based on the findings, it was observed that gender-equity in decision making promoted low fertility among married couples. This affirms the central role of gender-equity in reproductive behaviour. In order to foster demographic change therefore, gender –equity in the family and society should be addressed.
Keywords: Gender-equity, Reproductive behaviour, demographic change, Family-size.