Reproductive governance in a fragile and population-dense context: family planning policies, discourses, and practices in Burundi
Eur J Dev Res
Pages / Article-Number
This article describes the reproductive governance deployed in Burundi, which promotes fertility control through uptake of modern contraceptives as a solution to the economic hardship and land pressure of individuals and communities. Using a qualitative approach, we explore how women and couples in rural Burundi set their preferences, choices and practices of family planning, and how they relate with the government discourse. We describe how reproductive practices are complex and modulated by social and material factors and power dynamics. We argue that the current hegemonic discourse-largely supported by external donors-adopts a depoliticised and technocratic approach to family planning that aligns with neoliberal development frameworks, leaving existing power dynamics and resources distribution issues unexamined and unaddressed. By situating reproductive navigation in context, we show how medicalisation of reproduction is not fully enacted, and partly resisted by women and other actors.