Understanding Religious Influences on Family Planning

Religious beliefs and leadership can play important if complex roles in family planning decisions at many levels, but there are significant gaps in understanding how these influences affect family planning policies and programs. WFDD in partnership with the Senegalese association CRSD (Cadre des Religieux pour la Santé et le Développement), is working to deepen understanding of how religious leadership can support Senegal’s family planning strategies. Senegal’s religious institutions affect daily life in many ways and religiosity there ranks among the world’s highest: a 2010 Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life survey found that 98 percent of individuals surveyed said that religion is “very important” in their lives. However, specific information on how that striking statistic translates into personal decision-making is sparse. This brief reports on 2016 and 2017 studies focused Understanding Religious Influences on Family Planning Findings from Monitoring and Evaluation in Senegal on the influence of religious institutions, beliefs, and leaders on family planning decisions in Senegal.