Exploring women's perspectives of family planning: A qualitative study from rural Papua New Guinea

Sari Andajani-Sutjahjo, Zuabe Manguruc Tinning, John F. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Papua New Guinea has one of the highest fertility rates and lowest usage rates of modern contraceptives in the Pacific, especially in rural areas. Provision of modern family planning services in rural indigenous communities is challenged by geographic distance, organizational logistics, sparse human service resourcing issues, and lack of integration and understanding of the diversity of PNG's indigenous knowledge and practices around reproductive health. Face-to-face interviews followed by two focus group discussions were held with 14 purposively sampled indigenous women and two community volunteers, aiming to explore their experiences of what were termed "modern family planning practices" and the perceived impact of these on indigenous social structures. Narratives showed mixed impacts including women's increased sense of wellbeing and control over their bodies; better childbirth spacing benefitting childrearing and family economic demands; concerns over sustainability of village health services; and frustration about perceived lack of collaborative consultation between service providers and community leadership.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)276-289
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of International Women's Studies
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Family planning
  • Indigenous knowledge
  • Papua New Guinea (PNG)
  • Traditional birthing house


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