Factors affecting the intention of women to limit childbearing in rural Ethiopia



Background: The level of fertility in Ethiopia, especially in the rural areas, is unacceptably high. High fertility has a negative impact on the environment as well as on the socio-economic development. Thus, understanding factors that influence the fertility intention of women is important for family planning and population policy. Objective: The main objective of this study was to identify factors which influence women's intention to limit childbearing in rural Ethiopia. Methods: The source of the data was the 2011 Ethiopia Demographic and Health Survey. A weighted sub-sample of 10,864 women was drawn from the survey women's dataset. Logistic regression was used to examine the effects that some demographic, socio-economic, and cultural characteristics had on the intention of rural women to limit childbearing. Results: The adjusted odds-ratio (aOR with respective 95% confidence intervals) of intention to limit childbearing for the age categories 30-39 and 40-49 years were, respectively, 2.03(1.768-2.326) and 7.31(6.173-8.667) (referent age category of 15-29 years). For secondary and higher education aOR = 1.57(1.384-1.857) and primary education aOR = 1.07(0.945-1.216) (referent category no formal education). For women who were not exposed to any media aOR=0.87 (0.779-0.965) relative to women having access to mass media. AOR for women without knowledge about family planning was 0.62(0.504-0.740) compared to those who knew about FP methods. Visit by FP professional during the 12 months before the survey had the effect to reduce desire for childbearing (aOR=0.75; 0.659-0.845) compared with no visit. The respective aORs for Muslims and Copts were 0.71(0.653-0.823) and 0.99(0.866-1.32) (Protestants used as referent category). AORs for women who had never lived in marriage and for those who were married or had a partner, respectively, were 0.79 (0.587-1.066) and 0.26(0.220-0.307) (widowed/separated women are the referent group). For the low and middle economic categories aOR=1.40(1.139-1.716) and aOR=1.07(0.852-1.334) with high economic category taken as the reference group. There was no significant difference in the magnitudes of aORs when women are considered by their occupational status. With women having four or more children taken as the referent group, it was observed that aOR=0.07(CI: 0.051-0.090) for women who had no children; for women with 1-3 children aOR= 0.32(CI: 0.280-0.365). In the case of women who never lost a child aOR= 2.87(CI: 2.535-3.250) compared to those who had lost at least one child. Conclusion: Providing family planning services to women who have achieved their fertility goals and educating females at large could contribute positively towards understanding issues surrounding limiting childbearing. [Ethiop. J. Health Dev. 2014;28(2):75-80]


United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division (UN DESA). World population prospects; the 2011 revision, highlights. Working Paper No. ESA/P/WP.210. New York; UN DESA, 2012.

Hayford RS, Agadjanian V. Effects of reasons for limiting fertility on contraceptive use in rural southern Mozambique. Center for Population Dynamics, Arizona State University, 2011:1-10 [Cited 05 Dec 2012]; Available at: URL: http/www.uaps2011.princeton.edu/papers/110916.

Bekele AT, McCabe C. Awareness and determinants of family planning practice in Jimma, Ethiopia. International Nursing Review 2006; 53: 269-276.

Adugna A. Ethiopian demography: Excerpts from the topics listed in the content page of this online resource, 2010 [Cited 2014]; Available at: URL:http://www.ethiodemographyandhealth.or.html

John Hopkins University. Saving Women’s Lives. Population Reports 1999; 25(1):3-4.

Transitional Government of Ethiopia (TGE). National Population Policy. Addis Ababa; TGE, 1993.

Central Statistical Authority (CSA). The 2000 Ethiopia demographic and health survey, Addis Ababa; CSA, 2001.

Central Statistical Authority and ORC Macro. The 2005 Ethiopia demographic and health survey. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and Calverton, Maryland, USA, 2006.

Central Statistical Agency and ORC Macro. The 2011 Ethiopia demographic and health survey. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and Calverton, Maryland, USA, 2012.

Bertrand JT, Magnani RJ, Rutenberg N. Handbook of indicators for family planning program evaluation. The Evaluation Project; USAID, 1994.

Dibaba Y. Factors influencing women's intention to limit childbearing in Oromia Regional State, Ethiopia. Ethiop J Health Dev 2008; 23(1): 28-33.

Short ES, Kiros G. Husbands, wives, sons and daughters fertility preferences and the demand for contraception in Ethiopia. Population Research and Policy Review 2002; 21:377-402.

Fitaw Y, Yemane B, Worku A. Impact of child mortality and fertility preferences on fertility status in rural Ethiopia. East African Med J 2004; 81(6): 300-306.

Bhargava A. Desired family size, family planning and fertility in Ethiopia. Journal of Biosocial Science 2007; 39:367-381.

Ramesh A. Demographic, socio-economic, and cultural factors affecting fertility differentials in Nepal. BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth 2010; 10:19.

Hayford RS, Agadjanian V. From desires to behavior: Moderating factors in a fertility transition. Demographic Research 2012; 26(20):511-542.

Gupta N, Katende C, Bessinger R. Association of mass media exposure with family planning attitudes and practices in Uganda. Studies in Family Planning 2003; 34 (1):19-31.

Mekonnen W, Worku A. Determinants of low family planning use and high unmet need in Butajira District, South Central Ethiopia. Reprod Health 2011 Dec 8;8:37. doi: 10.1186/1742-4755-8-37.



How to Cite

Lemessa, R., & Wencheko, E. (2016). Factors affecting the intention of women to limit childbearing in rural Ethiopia. The Ethiopian Journal of Health Development, 28(2). Retrieved from https://ejhd.org/index.php/ejhd/article/view/32



Original Articles

Most read articles by the same author(s)

1 2 > >>