Reproductive Health Policies in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Look at Five Factors and their impact on contraception access using the case studies of Nigeria and Senegal
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Over the last two decades, many countries in sub-Saharan Africa have implemented programs to improve the overall wellbeing of their citizens. While individual countries have observed significant strides in improving education and eradicating hunger and disease, access to reproductive health education and services have not been accorded equal priority. My research examines the impact of religious majorities, percent of women in government, donor aid programs, democracy, and female literacy rates on contraceptive prevalence in Africa. This research involved a large-N study of all countries in Sub-Saharan Africa to determine the correlation between the contraceptive prevalence percentage and the five factors. The major finding of a bi-variable and multi-variable analysis indicated that democracy and female literacy rates are large determinants of contraception availability, while religion, donors, and women in government do not have statistically significant effects. Findings were then applied to the case studies of Nigeria and Senegal to helped elucidate the ways that the five factors shape contraception prevalence. This research suggests that to improve reproductive health access, African countries must focus on improving democracy and female literacy rates.