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Decision-Making Power and Family Planning Use: A Case of Married Women in Kishapu District, Tanzania

Harrieth G. Mtae


This study analyzed the role of married women aged 15 to 49 years on their decision-making on various issues using a cross-section study design. It involved 130 respondents from Kishapu District, selected using multistage sampling. Data was collected using interviews and focus group discussions. Quantitative data was analyzed through frequencies and percentages while qualitative data was analyzed thematically. It is concluded that, spouses make decisions on the money earned by respondents (60.2%). Decision on the money earned by respondent’s spouses is made jointly (48.1%) while 39.5% is made by their spouses as the sole decision-makers. Decision regarding respondents' health is made by respondents themselves (46.5%) while 39.5% reported their spouses to decide for them. Regarding spouse's health care, joint decision-making was reported by 62.3% of respondents and 30.4% reported their spouses to decide on their own health care. Decision on respondent’s use of contraceptives is conducted jointly by 69.1% while 19% is done by respondents alone. Decision on spouse’s contraceptive use is made mostly jointly (80%). Major household purchase is a joint decision issue by 51.7% but 44.4% reported spouses as sole decision-makers. Concerning visits to relatives and family, spouses are the decision-makers (52.7%) while joint decision making is done by 42.6%. The study recommends strategic interventions in family planning programs to encourage more visible involvement of women in household decision making including promoting couples’ discussions on reproductive health and family planning in particular. Further, Policy makers in family planning and reproductive health care should put more efforts and focus on interventions and programs which target imbalance of power practices between couples in the household. 

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eISSN: 2714-2132
print ISSN: 2714-2183