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Accepted Paper:

Making family and career compatible: Fertility management in Lagos, Nigeria  
Sophia Ertlmaier (University of Bayreuth)

Paper short abstract:

Framed as fertility management, I look at the various technologies to facilitate, time and prevent birth used by formally employed women in Lagos. These methods are a crucial part of their strategies to make family and career compatible.

Paper long abstract:

By 2050, Nigeria is projected to be the fourth most populous country worldwide. The birth rate of over five leads to concerns around overpopulation and its consequences. Contrary to countries with too low birth rates, there is no need to encourage women to have children. But: In a context where women are expected to work inside and outside the house while having several children, the compatibility of family and career may not be the topic of political debates, but certainly for these women themselves. Lagos, Nigeria’s and Africa‘s biggest city, offers a great range of technologies to facilitate, prevent and time births, from family planning to fertility clinics providing services like IVF, sex selection or surrogacy. My PhD project and currently ongoing research (04/2023 - 05/2024) focus on formally employed women like nurses, teachers and others, and how they manage their fertility. This means making sure to have the desired number of children at the right time in their careers, also through methods from contraception to egg freezing.

Therefore, I propose to contribute with a paper on the different methods and technologies that women in Lagos use in order to realize their aspirations, goals and role ideals in their private and work life. Fertility management is a crucial strategy to make family and career compatible for women all over the world, but especially in a context where the demands in these two areas can often be very contradicting and there is mostly little support from partners, employers or the government.

Panel P141
Doing and undoing reproduction [Medical Anthropology Europe [MAE]
  Session 2