Women Status and Culture on Contraceptive Use: The Case of Mbeya and Pwani Regions
The purpose of the study was to establish the impact of customs and beliefs and women status on contraceptive use. The concern was that, there is still low leve of the use of contraceptives to control child bearing despite the government effort to sensitize both men and women in reducing the number of children per woman for purpose of regulating rapid population growth. Rapid population growth in any nation has big effect on the economy of the country and on provision of essential services to all. Despite high level of awareness about contraceptives and related advantages, accessible and affordable; contraceptives were not being used by couples and single mothers. This has raised lots of concerns. Reasons for this situation had to be sought. This study therefore intended to unfold the causes for the low use of contraceptives. The study was conducted in two regions; Mbeya for Wanyakyusa and Pwani for the Wazaramo. The study was cross sectional and used both qualitative and quantitative approaches. The sample was 748 women both rural and urban districts of rungwe and kibaha. The methods used to collect data were Focus Group Discussion, Face to Face interview and Questionnaire Administration. Data analysis used SPSS programme to process data. Before this stage, data went through factor analysis. After extracting some variables, a pearsons chi square test was run to get the association of variables. The results were that, inheritance, prestige and barrenness as customs and beliefs variables have close association with contraceptives. This demonstrated that, the variables are barriers and have to be removed so that they seize to be barriers for women use of contraceptives. As regards to indicators of women status variables, education, participation in decision making and employment proved to have close association with contraceptives. This indicates that, when women are empowered, they can use contraceptive and thus be able to limit the number of children to bear. It is recommended that customs and beliefs which are a barrier to contraceptive use be removed. women status indicators analyzed; education, decision making and employment were found to have a strong association with contraceptive use, therefore, the government should ensure women are empowered through education, giving women opportunities to participate in decision making and ensuring they are employed or self employed.