Correlates of unmet need for familiy planning among currently married women in South Africa
Maduna, Paris Vusumzi
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The study sought to establish the correlates of Unmet need for contraception among currently married women in South Africa based on data drawn from the 1998 and 2003 South African Demographic and Health Surveys. Bivariate and multivariate analyses were used to determine the factors affecting unmet need in South Africa. The results revealed that the total levels of unmet need for family planning declined from 15.0 per cent in 1998 to 13.7 per cent in 2003. Unmet need to space births was 4.7 per cent· and 4.8 per cent in 1998 and 2003 respectively while unmet need to limit further childbearing declined from 10.3 per cent and 9.0 per cent in 1998 and 2003 respectively. The results also showed that the total unmet need generally declined among women of all ages, except those in the age groups 25-29 and 30-34 years, among women in non-urban areas, KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga provinces, those women with no education, those with six or more number of living children, among those who said they did not know their partner's level of · education and those whose partners had no education. The multivariate analyses indicate that the province of residence, population group, educational level of the respondents, partner's approval of family planning, number of living children, partner's and respondent's occupation were found to be the most significant factors correlated with unmet need for spacing among South African women of reproductive age aged 15-49 in 1998 -2003 period. While age of the respondents, province of residence, population group of the respondents, educational level of the respondents, partner's approval of family planning, number of living children, partner's and respondent's occupation were the only explanatory factors for unmet need for limiting the number of children a woman will have throughout her reproductive years. With regard to the total unmet need for the South African women under study, age of the respondents, population, group of the respondents, educational level of the respondents, partner's approval of family planning, number of living children, partner's and respondent's occupation were found to be the most significant factors correlated with total unmet need for family planning in the study. The findings have some important policy implications. It is therefore, recommended that raising the status of women through education and skills development, increasing participation of men in sexual and reproductive health, promoting communication between couples are of prime importance in eradicating barriers to the use of contraceptive methods.