The Cultural Context of Infertility in Southern Nigeria: Meanings, Consequences and Coping Mechanisms

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Director: Marida Hollos
Research Theme: Development, Institutions and Demographic Change
Location: Federal Republic of Nigeria
Funding: NSF

Hollos examines the well-being and social relations of sub-fertile or infertile women in Nigeria.  Two communities are compared: one that is strictly patrilineal versus one that has a mix of patri- and matrilineal practices.  While both sets of women face challenges and are, for example, more likely to be divorced from their first husband than their fertile counterparts, the women in the mixed village have better sources of support. Sub-fertile or infertile women in the patrilineal villages are more likely to migrate, shift occupations, and accumulate wealth. This project both documents the levels and socio-demographic patterns of infertility as well as provides a community context and local meanings of the phenomenon.