Social Cultural Factors Affecting Fertility Among Women Living with Disability in Bungoma County, Kenya
This research aimed to explore the childbearing gap created by sociocultural challenges among disabled women in Bungoma County. Using a pronatalist approach, the study explores the extent to which the level of education, marital status and social status influence fertility attainment among WLWD. The research was directed by planned behaviour theory by Icek Ajzen (1991), which helped analyse the interaction of childbearing motivations, decision-making processes and fertility outcomes. Cross-sectional design was adopted and participants aged between 15 to 49 years old were selected using purposeful sampling. A pre-tested structured questionnaire, key informant guide and two focus groups were adopted to gather data. A sample size of 120 comprised women living with disability, health officials, administrators, and family members. The study area was mapped out with nine sites selected in Bungoma Central and Kimilili sub-counties in Bungoma County. A pilot study was done in the Kimilili subcounty to test reliability. Descriptive data underwent content analysis, themes coded using the framework analysis approach and transcribed, while quantitative data underwent logistic regression analysis using the SPSS package. Chi-square tests were used to link associations between sociocultural factors and fertility outcomes among WLWD in Bungoma County. Data results were represented using tables of frequencies, charts, graphs and percentages. These cultural barriers were identified as stigma, cultural beliefs and cultural attitudes. The study concludes that lack of education, low social status, overwhelming stigma and conservative mode of the patriarchal family system negatively depresses the fertility outcomes of disabled women in Bungoma County. The research recommended that disabled people ought to be helped to get an education and promote programmes against cultural biases towards fertility. Further, special hospital or home care units with well-trained personnel by the government were recommended to give specialised services to the WLWD
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