Spousal Violence and Unwanted Fertility in Malawi

Ayotunde Titilayo, Martin E Palamuleni


Identifying predictors of high fertility in Malawi has been of great concern among stakeholders. One area that has not received much attention is the relationship between spousal violence and unwanted fertility. Therefore, the objective of this paper is to establish the relationship between spousal violence (aggregate of physical, emotional and sexual) and unwanted fertility among women in Malawi. A subset of 4,137women who were selected for domestic violence module and who gave birth within the last five years were extracted from the 2010 Malawi Demographic and Health Survey. Bivariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses were used to examine the relationship between unwanted fertility and background variables. The overall prevalence rate of spousal violence and unwanted fertility among the study population are 31% and 46% respectively. Spousal violence was found to be a significant predictor of unwanted fertility among women in Malawi. The results of bivariate and multivariate logistic regression models indicate that unwanted fertility is higher among women who experienced spousal violence than among those who did not (OR=0.765). Other factors that were found to be significantly related to unwanted fertility are age at first birth, number of children ever born, spousal agreement on ideal number of children household wealth index and region of residence. The study recommends that gender equality should be promoted and violence against women should be discouraged in order to accelerate fertility transition in Malawi.



Spousal violence; Unwanted fertility; Pregnancy; Malawi

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.11564/29-2-780


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ISSN 2308-7854 (online); ISSN 0850-5780 (print)

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