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African Journal of Biomedical Research
Ibadan Biomedical Communications Group
ISSN: 1119-5096
Vol. 18, No. 2, 2015, pp. 95-107
Bioline Code: md15013
Full paper language: English
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge

African Journal of Biomedical Research, Vol. 18, No. 2, 2015, pp. 95-107

 en Knowledge and Perceptions of Reproductive Rights among Female Postgraduate Students of the University of Ibadan, Nigeria
Egemba, M.N. & Ajuwon, A.J.

Abstract

The knowledge and perceptions of reproductive rights among female postgraduate students of the University of Ibadan were assessed. The study was a cross-sectional survey of 480 FPGS in three female halls in the University. A validated questionnaire which contained a 20-point knowledge scale was used for data collection while eight in-depth interviews (IDI) were conducted with the aid of an IDI guide. Thematic approach was used for the analysis of the IDI while the quantitative data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, Chi-square and ANOVA. Respondents’ mean age was 29.7±+6.4 years and 75.4% were singles. Sixty-seven percent of the respondents had heard about RRs with the mass media constituting their major sources of information (54.2%). Respondents’ mean knowledge score was 3.3±+2.9 on a 20 point scale. The mean knowledge scores by age group were not significantly different. There was however a significant difference in the mean scores by marital status as follows: married (3.3±+2.4), divorced (7.5±+0.0), widowed (2.0±+1.5) and single 3.2±+3.0 (p<0.05). Fifty-one percent of the respondents were not aware of any form of RRs violations. Sixty-six percent of the respondents were opposed to married women’s right to bodily autonomy while 77.3% rejected the idea that a wife on her own could access family planning services. Majority of the respondents (77.9%) were of the belief that RR enforcement would not lead women to disrespect their husbands or be promiscuous (78.5%). Most of the IDI participants were against making marital rape an offence punishable by law. All the IDI participants saw gender equality as unrealistic. The respondents had a huge knowledge deficit of reproductive rights. Most of the students’ perceptions of these rights rotate around the right to decide number and spacing of children and the right to bodily autonomy. Public enlightenment programs on reproductive rights are strongly recommended using multiple intervention approaches. There is also a need for the review of the University curricula nationwide to integrate topics on reproductive health and gender equality across faculties.

Keywords
Reproductive health; Rights; female students; Nigeria

 
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