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Overcoming Social Barriers with Family Planning in Benin

With generous funding from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Plan International USA is an implementing partner under the research project, Tekponon Jikuagou, led by the Institute for Reproductive Health, Georgetown University, and in partnership with CARE International, to address unmet need for family planning in the Couffo area of Benin.

Overcoming Family Planning in Benin

The Tekponon Jikuagou team have developed a package of activities designed to catalyze community groups and individuals identified through social network analysis to address gender and other social factors that silence discussion about family planning.

Why is there a need?


When it comes to family planning in Sub-Saharan Africa, social barriers often stand in the way of progress. A 2013 survey in Benin by Tekponon Jikuagou revealed that 36 percent of women reported that it is not acceptable to talk about family planning in public.

Here are some more statistics:

  • 8 percent of women and 17 percent of men believe that using family planning means one is promiscuous.
  • Only 11 percent of women reported discussing family planning with their husbands in the last year.
  • Just 10 percent of women reported that they had taken action to obtain family planning resources last year.
  • Only 13 percent of women believe they need a family planning method, when in fact 53 percent actually need it.

Five ways Tekponon Jikuagou works:

  1. Engaging communities in social network mapping.
  2. Supporting influential groups in reflective dialogue.
  3. Encouraging influential individuals to act in support of family planning.
  4. Using radio to create an enabling environment.
  5. Linking family planning providers with influential groups.

Things to expect:

  • Decreased gender and other social barriers to acting on unmet need.
  • Significantly more women and men with unmet need for family planning seeking information and services.

Plan to make a difference!

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