Determinants of Higher Fertility Rates in Igunga District, Tanzania: Does Women Empowerment Matters?

J.S. Mbwambo, E.E. Chingonikaya, H.W. Mwatawala


women’s empowerment and sexual and reproductive health to men and women to  make the youth especially in rural areas avoid higher fertility for the national development.

This study was conducted to investigate the relationship between women’s empowerment and fertility in rural Tanzania. Data were collected from randomly selected 120 women in four randomly selected villages from two wards in Igunga District using a structured and non-structured questionnaire. Descriptive and regression analyses using Statistical Package for Social Sciences were employed to determine the factors for fertility. Women’s empowerment was measured by five proxies: economic decision making, mobility, coercive control, family planning and contraceptive use, and family size decision making. Fertility status was measured by age specific fertility rates and total fertility rates. The main argument adopted by the study was that higher fertility rates might be lowered through interventions that enhance women empowerment. The results indicates clearly that women in the study area are less empowered based on the adopted indicators and such lower levels of empowerment together with demographic and cultural factors including men’s dominance are responsible for higher fertility in the study area. The study recommends that interventions addressing cultural factors and enhancement of women empowerment may lower higher fertility rates from the study area. Moreover, while this study dealt with women as the unit of data collection and analysis, it is important that such intervention should involve both men and women. This, as seen from male dominance, is important because any change that is expected will come from decisions made and owned by men.

Keywords: Women Empowerment and Fertility

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ISSN (Paper)2224-5766 ISSN (Online)2225-0484

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