Female Autonomy, Family Decision Making, and Demographic Behavior in Africa

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This volume presents an important, in-depth study that addresses multiple links between reproduction, women’s status, and the family. The original research, conducted as the Ghana Female Autonomy Micro Study, was designed to collect information about the nature of spousal relations and the extent to which changes in the position of women affect demographic change in Ghana.


“This valuable study of women’s autonomy and reproductive behavior frames research questions, measures, and analyses in terms of women’s many roles in the African family as well as women’s roles in political, legal and economic spheres of life. . . . Furthermore, the views and behaviors of women and their husbands are included in the analyses in this book. This approach carries research on women’s status and demographic behavior forward by bringing in men as an important but often absent aspect of reproductive decision making. . . . The concepts, methodology, and main findings constitute useful tools for teachers and researchers in the social sciences. Likewise, organizations involved with practical implications of population research will find discussions in this volume of relevance and interest.” – Dr. Ann E. Biddlecom

Table of Contents

Table of Contents:
Preface by Ann E. Biddlecom
1. Introduction: The Context of Women’s Autonomy and Fertility Behavior
2. Methodology
3. Marriage Systems and Fertility Behavior
4. Contraception and Family Planning
5. Communication and Decision Making
6. Control of Income
7. Gender Roles and Leadership
8. Sexual Rights and Inheritance
9. Conclusion
References, Appendix, Author Index, Subject Index

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