The effect of female education on fertility in Kenya
There had been at first some reluctance to accept the reality of fertility decline in Kenya until the early 1980's when the country a record fertility decline of more than 20%. This decline whose evidence has been shown from more sophisticated cohort analysis and comparison between two or more surveys exceeded by far the 10% decline that has come to be conventionally accepted as indicating the onset of irreversible fertility transition. With this acknowledgement there is need now more than at any other time before to undertake ever intensified more focused studies aimed at isolating the key determinants of fertility which can be used for the formulation and implementation of appropriate population policies in the country. This is one of the chief aims of this study which aimed at investigating the effects of changing levels of formal education among women (female education) among other social-economic and demographic factors on the key proximate determinants of fertility amongst Kenyan women. The unit of analysis in this study was individual woman while the fertility measurement is children ever born (CEB). A micro-level analysis was chosen because it offers a better chance of gaining greater insights on the likely impact of female education on fertility by overcoming some of the shortcomings encountered in macro-level analysis type of studies. The study utilised the 1993 KDH~data a National Survey that utilised a woman's questionnaire to collect data on the women's characteristics. To analyze the data, Linear Regression and Correlation methods of statistical analysis were used i.e. cross-tabulations, simple linear regression and multiple regression with the aid of the SPSS computer package. The general findings of the study shows that female education is negatively related to fertility. The most significant finding and possibly the contribution of this study is that education influences fertility largely by interfering with or altering the demographic characteristics of the individual woman. The study is organised in four chapters. Chapter One deals with the introduction to the study as well a~ the definition or isolation of the study problem. It includes the introduction and background to the study, statement of the problem, objectives of the study, scope and limitations of th-e. study as well as the justification of the study. Chapter Two deals with the presentation ofliterature readings on findings from earlier studies in the same field. It also presents the relevant theoretical framework adopted for the analytical purposes in this study as well as the explanation of it's iv operationalization which includes the statement of the operational hypotheses both diagrammatically and formally. Chapter Three focuses on data and methodologies used for analysis. It examines the source and quality of data as well as the statistical methods used to study the interrelationships between fertility and its determinants. Chapter Four deals with the statistical analysis of data and the results. The relationship of fertility (CEB) with Education alongside some selected social-economic and demographic variables through the selected proximate determinants is examined and the results as well as the explanations for them given. Chapter Five deals with the summary conclusion and recommendations. To begin with a small summary of the major findings is given followed by the conclusion of the study. Female education is central to fertility decline such that no fertility reducing models and policies can afford to ignore it. Lastly recommendations based upon the foundations of the study are postulated and put forth aimed at both the policy makers and future researchers.