The Role of Proximate and other Determinants in Ghana’s Fertility Transition.

Samuel Nii Ardey Codjoe


Although studies have revealed some of the factors behind Ghana’s fertility transition, much effort is still needed to explain the contribution to the transition of social factors such as beliefs, practices, customs, etc. Most of the studies have used macro-level data (mainly the Demographic and Health Surveys), and have therefore been unable to unravel in fine details the reasons at the micro level. The objective of this paper is to examine the role of proximate and other (mainly customs and practices) determinants in Ghana’s fertility transition. Household data collected among 386 females aged between 15 and 49 years in March 2002 are used. Results show that certain cultural practices such as child fostering, and females perception of their husbands or male participating in a household chore (seen as the preserve of females in Ghana) i.e., cooking, among other factors, turn out to be significant predictors of children ever born. Further research is needed to ascertain the role of other factors, viz, females’ perception of washing and babysitting by men, and the effect of practices such as badudwan (a female rewards the husband with a ram upon giving birth to the tenth child) on fertility.


Proximate; Customs; Practices; Fertility determinants; Ghana

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