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Fertility and Poverty: The Role of Gender and Reproductive Health

  • 2010-2013
  • Project
Jensen, An-Magritt, Norwegian University of Science and Technology

Study: “Fertility and Poverty: The Role of Gender and Reproductive Health”
PI(s): Jensen, An-Magritt
Affiliation(s): Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Institutional Partner(s): RCN
Project Dates:
Start: 2010
End: 2013
Data Source(s): Cross-Sectional HH Data; Interviews
Methods: Qualitative and Quantitative Methods
Geographic Location(s): Kenya

The driving influence for the project was the worldwide fertility decline: Fertility has dropped below replacement level in an increasing number of countries. Kenya is an exception to this general picture. The fertility decline from the end of the 1980s was projected to continue; however, along with some other sub-Saharan African countries, the decline was stalled and fertility remains high. Given the scope and magnitude of global fertility development, Kenya stands out as a particular case. However, little research is available at the household level. The project was a follow-up on two case studies in Kenya carried out between 1987 and 1991. The principal objective was to understand the fertility stall in the context of poverty: what happened in Kenya and why? The objectives are: to explore the impact on gender systems in two different cultural and religious contexts; to comprehend the interplay with fertility and poverty; to analyze ways in which reproductive health and child mortality affect fertility and poverty in the household; and to synthesize findings from case studies and large-scale surveys. The follow-up study in 2011 suggests that women’s scope for controlling fertility remains limited and aggravated by persistent poverty. Benefits of few children are realized but conditions for continued decline are not achieved. Approaches in this paper include socioeconomic development, gender, and the social value of children.

Research Outputs:

Jensen, An-Magritt. (2013). Female Autonomy and Fertility in the Context of Poverty: Case Studies Before and After the Fertility Decline in Rural Kenya.

Jensen, An-Magritt. (2015). Poverty, Gender and Fertility in Rural Kenya. Forum for Development Studies, 42(2): 311-332. DOI: 10.1080/08039410.2015.1025827

Jensen, An-Magritt. (2015). Poverty, Gender and Fertility in Rural Kenya. Millennium Development Goal 1: Eradicate Extreme Poverty & Hunger collection.

Jensen, An-Magritt et al. (2015). Fertility and Poverty in Western and Coast Villages of Kenya.

Odwe, George. (2014). Fertility and household poverty in Kenya: a comparative analysis of coast and western provinces (Doctoral Dissertation). University of Nairobi, Nairobi, Kenya.

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