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Harper’s Magazine Article on PMC’s Work in Ethiopia

August 30, 2009 • Daily Email Recap

The July issue of Harper’s Magazine has a segment of dialogue from Population Media Center’s radio serial in Ethiopia, Sibrat (“Trauma”). Hearing this segment might give one pause about the idea of having a baby – and/or refusing one’s wife the right to hospital delivery.

I met with our Ethiopian writing team on Friday and emphasized the need to role model small family norms in our upcoming serial drama on Radio Ethiopia. Here’s why (figures from the 2005 Demographic and Health Survey except Total Fertility Rate, which is from Population Reference Bureau’s 2009 World Population Data Sheet):

Knowledge of contraceptive methods = 91%
Current use of modern contraceptives by married women = 14% (double what it was when PMC started in Ethiopia)
Among non-users of family planning, intent to use in the future = 52%
Never intend to use = 44%
Total fertility rate = 5.3
Average ideal number of children among married women = 5.1
Average ideal number of children among married men = 6.4
Reasons given for non-use:
1. Opposed to use (religious, personal, or husband) = 24%
2. Wants as many children as possible = 18%
3. Fear of side effects = 13%
4. Knows no method = 9%
5. Knows no source = 3%

Clearly, one thing that could change the population dynamics of Ethiopia is role modeling small family norms and making them popular

Harper’s Magazine Ethiopia Article Sibrat in the July 2009 Edition (PDF, 107 KB).


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