A qualitative investigation of childbearing and seasonal hunger in peri-urban Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso

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Population and Environment, ISSN: 0199-0039, Vol: 38, Issue: 4, Page: 369-380

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Kathryn Grace, Amy M. Lerner, Jude Mikal, Gabriel Sangli
Springer Nature
Social Sciences, Environmental Science
article description
The highest-fertility populations often face food insecurity. Research linking food insecurity, fertility, and fecundity has heavily focused on rural, subsistence areas (see Mosher1979, Panter-Brick 1996; Bongaarts 1980, among others). However, contemporary discussions of both food insecurity and fertility suggest that comparatively high fertility and inadequate nutrition are also characteristic of non-rural people, many of whom live in urban and peri-urban communities in Africa (WHO/UNICEF 2015; Zezza and Tasciotti2010; UN 2015). Previous research linking episodic food insecurity with fertility outcomes has not examined the specific challenges faced by childbearing and food-insecure women who live in peri-urban communities as distinct from those challenges faced by rural or urban dwellers. Moreover, neither classic birth seasonality research nor contemporary food insecurity research has well-addressed women’s own lived experiences and perspectives related to childbearing in a contact of food insecurity. Considering the seasonality of birth outcomes among subsistence producers provides a framework to investigate the ways that nutrition, food, fertility, and fecundity interact and may be useful in explaining fertility differentials within and between urban and peri-urban communities.

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