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Benin

  • By: Keri L. Heitner
  • In: Encyclopedia of Motherhood
  • Edited by: Andrea O'Reilly
  • Subject:Sociology of Gender, Parenting, Maternal Health

The Republic of Benin, one of the world's poorest countries, has a high birth rate and a low divorce rate; societal mores promote childbearing, and contraceptive use is low. Women in the formal work sector receive maternity benefits; government initiatives also focus on improving reproductive health. Most women have a primary school education. Vodum religious shrines are the unifying center of the family.

Childbearing, Child Rearing, and Marriage

The typical woman in Benin who lives to 51 will birth more than seven children, higher than the World Health Organization rate for West Africa. Women in rural areas have a higher total fertility rate than in urban areas. Women employed in the formal sector are eligible for 14 weeks of maternity leave benefits, at 100 percent of pay. ...

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