The frantic search for children of different sexes would increase fertility in the Burkinabè capital (Study)

In Ouagadougou, women are having more children than expected, because they want at all costs to have at least one boy and one girl among their offspring; a situation that could explain the maintenance of fertility at a relatively high level in the Burkinabè capital, reveals a study.

More than 70% of women in the city of Ouagadougou, with children of the same sex, want additional children against nearly 40% with children of both sexes (mixed).

It is also said that more than three out of five women (64.8%) prefer to have children of both sexes, of which 33.9% aspire to have as many boys as girls.

The proportions of women who only want boys or only girls or who are indifferent to the gender of their children hardly exceed 20%.

These situations explain among couples in Ouagadougou, "the frantic search for children of different sexes", the subject of a study whose salient results were presented Thursday, to journalists members of the Association of Journalists and Communicators in Population and Development (AJCPD).

Researchers from the Higher Institute of Population Sciences (ISSP, Joseph Ki-Zerbo University) headed by Dr. Moussa Bougma, conducted surveys between September and November 2021, among 2,824 women in the city of Ouagadougou, including 1,339 live in a developed area and 1,485 in an undeveloped area.

According to Dr. Moussa Bougma, "it is clear that the unbridled search for gender diversity within offspring could be a determining factor in maintaining fertility at a relatively high level in Burkina Faso".

By way of example, women who have reached mixed status use contraceptive methods more than their peers, who are only mothers of boys or girls.

The demographer explains that the boy fills the need for an heir or a representative of the husband to perpetuate the family line; future support in old age or financial support for siblings.

The need for the girl is felt to have a representative of the mother, help with domestic work, financial support and to take care of the elderly, says Dr Moussa Bougma.

The researcher called for reducing gender inequalities between children and raising parents' awareness of the gendered partition of social roles; to accelerate women's literacy and education to rapidly reduce the demand for children.

He suggests focusing fertility control policies on changing perceptions of the unbridled pursuit of children's gender diversity.

The research presented on Thursday also focused on the commitment of local authorities to take family planning into account, the change in parents' perception of the management of their old age for fertility control and the socioeconomic integration of migrant women in urban areas as an alternative for fertility control in Ouagadougou.

For the Deputy Director of the ISSP, Dr. Georges Guiela, demographic issues are central issues in all urban planning.

He thought that beyond the popularization of the results required of journalists, these “primeurs” are used for their training.

ISSP Director General Bassiahi Abdramane Soura thanked the International Union for the Scientific Study of Population (IUSSP) for the financial support.

He welcomed the strategic partnership that exists between the ISSP and the AJCPD for the dissemination of research results.

The coordinator of the AJCPD, Boureima Sanga, welcomed the renewed confidence and urged his colleagues to use these results to produce in-depth and impactful articles.

Source: Burkina Information Agency