Consensual union in West Africa: does it matter if a you are French or English-speaking?

Lorretta Favour C. Ntoimo, Federal University Oye-Ekiti
Clifford O. Odimegwu, University of the Witwatersrand
Tolulope M. Ola, University of Minnesota
Justin Dansou, University of Ibadan

Consensual union is a common nuptilaity feature of many countries in West Africa, but little is known about it. This study examined the levels, trend, individual and contextual factors associated with consensual union in English and French-speaking countries in West Africa. The research used individual women data from Demographic and Health Surveys in eleven West African countries. Multilevel logistic regression was used to model women’s odds of being in consensual union. The level of consensual union ranged from 0.2% in Niger Republic to 52% in Liberia. Consensual union was consistently higher in the English-speaking than in French-speaking countries. Although there were few variations across the two linguistic divide, the odds of consensual union were associated with several common factors, such as education, second and higher order union, premarital birth, birth of no sons, sexual debut before first union, place of residence, year of first cohabitation and residence in poor communities.

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Presented in Poster Session 3