Factors of Marital Disruption in Burkina Faso

Bilampoa Gnoumou Thiombiano, Université de Montréal
Bruno D. Schoumaker, Université Catholique de Louvain

To date, very few studies have examined the determinants of divorce in sub-Saharan Africa. Those that exist have found that several individual-level variables affect the risk of divorce, although none have focused on the effects of characteristics of the local context, which may also influence union stability. This paper uses data from a recent national multilevel family-life type survey fielded in Burkina Faso to examine the combined effects of individual and community factors on women’s risk of divorce. Results from an event-history analysis show that marital disruption has become more frequent over time, and that several other variables are conducive to divorce (early marriage, sterility, polygamy, urban residence, improvements to local transportation that make the area less isolated, and women’s education and work). Significant differences are also found for several variables reflecting religion, ethnicity and where the woman was raised.

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Presented in Poster Session 7