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Forced Migration and Family Planning: A Comparative Analysis in Jordan


Amman, Jordan


May 15, 2017 - September 30, 2017

Project Objectives

This study taking place in Amman and neighboring cities in Jordan will examine the reproductive health climate, as well as the reproductive decision making frameworks among Syrian refugee couples, in comparison to Jordanian couples. Political upheaval in Syria makes Jordan a temporary home to roughly 600,000 Syrian refugees. More than half of these refugees do not have adequate access to reproductive health and family planning mechanisms; at any given time, more than 10,000 females are pregnant. Among pregnant women, approximately one in five are at risk for poor obstetric outcomes. Many refugee babies born in Jordan are also born premature and underweight.

In Amman, many refugee couples seek contraceptive services, but they are often unavailable. Factors such as religious interpretations, heightened stress under crises, and spousal influences cause discordance between couples and impact reproductive decision making between spouses.

A great deal of literature since the Syrian conflict in 2011 discusses the lack of contraceptive services available to refugees across the region, as well as the discordance between spouses on their desires to have more children. However, research from 2011 to 2016 does not focus on the specific family planning mechanisms offered to both men and women, and why they have chosen to make their specific reproductive choices. Research in this time frame has also not utilized qualitative methods to give an overview of couples’ desires to have or to not have more children, and reasons for these desires, nor has it compared the reproductive experiences of refugees to the citizens of a country of displacement, such as Jordanians. Offering a comparative component to the research addressing specific reproductive and sexual health decision making and birthing experiences among Syrian couples and Jordanian couples will give findings context and a referent/comparison group. Due to increased rates of birth in humanitarian and lower resource settings, and the crucial need for addressing sexual and reproductive health in these settings, this study hopes to draw attention to this pressing and vital issue facing the world today.

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