Gender-Based Violence and Modern Contraceptive Use in the Democratic Republic of Congo: The Influence of Community-Level Factors
Rachel Kidman, Stony Brook University, State University of New York (SUNY)
Tia Palermo, Stony Brook University, State University of New York (SUNY)
Jane Bertrand, Tulane University
Intimate partner violence (IPV) has been found to be negatively associated with contraceptive use, but evidence from Africa, which has the highest levels of IPV globally, is mixed. Further, existing studies have not investigated this relationship in a conflict setting, where there is restricted access to family planning and where levels of gender-based violence are often high. Using nationally representative data from Democratic Republic of Congo, we examined the relationship between individual- and community-level IPV and current modern contraceptive use. Overall, 59% of women reported experiencing IPV and current modern contraceptive use was low (4.5%). In multivariate models, individual experience of IPV was not associated with increased use of modern contraceptives overall or in the conflict region sub-sample, but community-level IPV was associated with lower odds of current contraceptive use in non-conflict regions. Results suggest improved access to family planning should be a priority for programming in DRC, and programs should target woman at risk for IPV.