Home Institution

Vassar College

Publication Date

Fall 2011

Program Name

Cameroon: Social Pluralism and Development


This paper is the product of three weeks of research on contraception and the lives of married Fulani women in Ngaoundéré, Cameroon. Based on interviews with Fulani women, conducted both in French and in the Fulani language of Fulfulde with the aid of a French interpreter, I discuss the cultural and religious influences on women’s lives that impact their decisions or abilities to use contraception, as well as the ways these influences and realities have changed, are changing, and are expected to change in the future. I also look into the more practical concern of the availability and accessibility of contraceptives in the city of Ngaoundéré, which I base on interviews conducted with health care workers in the city. I conclude that both culture and structure are in a state of transition, and show that both aspects can limit women’s ability to willingly choose to use contraceptive methods to space out births or limit the size of their families.


Family, Life Course, and Society | Maternal and Child Health | Public Health Education and Promotion | Social Welfare | Women's Studies


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