Emerging gender revolution in Nigeria: implications for timing of family formation and fertility behaviour

Onipede Wusu, Lagos State University
Olaide A. Adedokun, Lagos State University

We hypothesize that gender revolution is emerging in Nigeria and it is swaying the timing of family formation and fertility behaviour. The 1990 and 2013 NDHS data sets were analysed. Univariate analysis involved the two surveys while bivariate and multivariate analyses used only 2013 data set to examine the influence of gender revolution on timing of family formation and fertility behaviour. Gender revolution indicators include education, paid work and wealth status. Indicators of timing of family formation was age at marriage while children ever born (CEB) and contraception denoted fertility behaviour. In addition, we collected qualitative data through 45 in-depth interviews (IDI) to complement the NDHS data. The results show that 62% of women were in paid work in 2013 (5% in 1990), 46% had at least secondary education (24% in 1990) and 63% in non-poor wealth status. Hierarchical regression model reveals that paid work (ß = -0.05) and secondary education (ß = 0.25) significantly (p<0.001) predicted timing of family formation. Likewise, paid work (ß = 0.03), primary education (ß = 0.03) and non-poor wealth status (ß = -0.041) significantly (p<0.001) predicted CEB. Also, logistic regression model shows that paid work (OR = 1.23), primary education (OR = 3.56), secondary education (OR = 5.02) and non-poor wealth status (OR= 2.21) significantly (p<0.001) predicted modern contraception. Narratives from the IDIs corroborate the results, reflecting that education, paid work and desire for independent wealth are gaining acceptance among females in Nigeria. Restriction of sex and childbearing to marriage is waning among young females while average age at marriage of 25 years is gaining prominence. Thus, the analysis lends some degree of support to the study hypothesis. The findings suggest that as education, paid employment and improved wealth status intensify among females in Nigeria, delayed family formation and fertility decline will be inevitable.

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Presented in Session 77: Gender, fertility and sex preferences