UNIVERSITY OF DAR ES SALAAM
UNIVERSITY OF DAR ES SALAAM SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS (UDSOE)

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FAMILY PLANNING, FEMALE LABOR FORCE PARTICIPATION AND HOUSEHOLD WELFARE IN UGANDA

ABSTRACT


Family planning (FP) can be an important engine for human capital development and overall economic development. However, in most countries especially in Sub-Saharan Africa, there are persistently low levels of FP utilization despite the efforts that have been in place to increase its uptake. With the expected occurrence of the global human population explosion of which SubSaharan Africa harbors the majority of such populations, welfare will be undermined. This can also potentially frustrate development efforts at the national level in low-income countries like Uganda. Uganda as one of the countries with the highest fertility rates and teenage pregnancies in SubSaharan Africa, this dissertation sought to elucidate the dynamics surrounding the utilization of FP services in such circumstances. In the first essay, we investigate the potential predictors of FPM utilization among sexually active adolescent girls and young women aged 15 to 24 years using data from the 2016 Uganda Demographic and Health Survey. It uses both bivariate and multivariate analyses, specifically probit analysis to tease out the overall predictors for FP use, Multinomial logit (MNL) to tease out the predictors of the four most commonly used FPM. The results reveal that only 34% were using FPM, of which 20% were injections. The probit results show that women of the 20-24 years age group, those with primary and secondary education, increases in wealth, being employed, being a Christian, having more than three children, and having the freedom to participate in decision-making processes are positively associated with the use of FPM. On the other hand, findings of the MNL regression indicate that with reference to not using FPM regions of origin and fertility preferences explain the use of injections, condoms, implants, and traditional FPM with notable differences in effect sizes. Furthermore, utilizing microlevel data for a balanced panel of 2036 women in households surveyed in 2018/19 and 2019/20, we assess the effect of FPM utilization on household welfare. The descriptive analysis shows that the majority of the households are located in rural areas and the majority are male headed, with fewer male headed households reported to be poor and more women not using FP reported to be poor as compared to the female headed households and to women using FP respectively. The pooled OLS regression results reveal that use of FPM among the rural women, increases in age, being educated, and having property and non-agricultural enterprises among women of reproductive are associated with improvement in household welfare, while an increase in household size is associated with a deterioration in household welfare. Using an unbalanced panel of the 2013/14, 2015/16, and 2018/19 Uganda National Panel Survey (UNPS) data, we examine the effect of FPM use on female labor force participation among women aged 15 to 49 years. Employing a one-step and two-step system Generalized Method of Moments (GMM) regression, the empirical results reveal that women’s increase in age, use of FPM, being divorced and residing in the urban areas are positively associated with female labor force participation while being married and having an increased number of children living with the woman reduce the likelihood of the woman participating in the labor force. Under the one-step system GMM, FPM use is positively associated with female labor force participation, but under the two-step system GMM, FPM use is insignificant. Such findings suggest that understanding the strategies to accelerate FPM utilization is key while pursuing the achievement of the sustainable development goals

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