Understanding the social and cultural context of gender dynamics, sexual relationships and method choice

Publication Subtitle

Impact on family planning use in Malawi and Zambia

Publication year


Publication Author

Lydia K. Murithi, et al.

The use of contraception varies widely around the world, both in terms of overall use and the types of methods used. Globally, an estimated 142 million women have an unmet need for family planning, with many sub-Saharan countries recording the highest levels of unmet need at 24%, double the world’s average in 2015.1 Both supply-side and demandside constraints contribute to unmet need for family planning.

This research study, which took place in Zambia and Malawi, was conducted to inform the introduction and marketing of the Woman’s Condom and to explore the potential for introduction of the SILCS diaphragm in these two countries.

Specific objectives of this research were to:

  • Understand the social and cultural contexts of gender dynamics, with a focus on sexual relationships;
  • Explore how this context might influence uptake of the Woman’s Condom and SILCS diaphragm; and
  • Understand provider-related attitudes and beliefs about potential users and the introduction of these new family planning methods.

This report contains findings from our research in Zambia and Malawi and provides recommendations on how marketing campaigns can be improved to ensure better uptake of these two forms of contraceptives.