Population survey reveals most sexually active, violent at home and HIV illiterate Ugandans
Do you know that girls from Teso have the earliest sex debut in Uganda? Did you know that the Bagisu and Karimojong do not know that using condoms and limiting sexual intercourse to one uninfected partner are means of preventing the HIV/AIDS scourge?Did you also know that the Pentecostal or ‘born again’ Christians in Uganda experience the most sexual violence?
These and many more other revelations are in the sixth demographic and health survey released on March 14 in Kampala. The document, which has been published by the Uganda Bureau of Statistics every five years since 1988, shows the latest indicators on fertility, marriage, sexual activity, fertility preferences, awareness and use of family planning methods as well as awareness and behaviour towards HIV/AIDS.
Women want fewer children
One of the most significant revelations from the survey is that Ugandan women want fewer children. In fact, the urge to have children falls sharply after the first child. Up to 80% of women without a child want one soon, according to the survey.
The figure drops to 24% after the first child. Up to 40% of women do not want another child after the fourth child and after the sixth child; up to 70% of women say they do not want another.
Overall, the average number of children per woman has declined sharply between 2011 and 2016. The number had held steady at 6.9 children in 1995 and 2000/01, 6.7 in 2006, and 6.2% in 2011. However, in 2016 it dropped to 5.4 children per woman. The drop is even sharper when compared to 7.4 children per woman in 1988.
Overall, nearly four in ten married women age 15-49 (38%) do not want any more children or are sterilized. The majority (85%) of married women want to either space their next birth or cease childbearing altogether.
The proportion of women who want to stop childbearing or are sterilized increases with the number of living children, from 4% of women with one child to 25% of women with three children to 80% of women with six or more children.
Teso has most teenage mothers
According to the survey, 25% of women get pregnant between the age of 15 and 19 years. This is a significant statistic because the age of consent is 18 years and it is criminal to have sex with a woman younger than that. However, at the time of the survey, 25% of young women aged 15-19 were either mothers (19%) or pregnant with their first child (4%).Up to 3% of these teenage mothers are 15 years old, while 22% are 17 years and 54% are 19 years old. Most of them are in rural villages, are from poor families, and are not educated. Up to 35% of girls with no education have begun childbearing compared to 11% of those who have more than secondary education.
Teso sub-region has the highest number of teenage mothers (31%) while Kigezi sub-region (16%) has the lowest. Health experts say children born to very young mothers are at increased risk of sickness and death.
Multiple sexual partners
The 2016 UDHS included questions on respondents’ sexual partners during the 12 months preceding the survey and during their lifetime.
Ugandans generally cheat, meaning they have multiple partners. And men cheat more than women. Throughout their lifetime, according to the survey, women have sex with between two and three (2.3) different people. Men on the other hand have between six and seven (6.3) different partners.
Among women, those aged between 20-24 cheat more followed by those in the 25-29 age bracket. Amongst men, those in the age bracket 30-39 are the worst cheaters followed by those aged 25-29.
Women living in the Islands (6.7%) are the biggest cheats, followed by those from Bukedi (5%), Tooro (3.2%), and Busoga (3.2%). Women from Lango are the least cheaters (0.5%), followed by West Nilers, Acholi, and Banyankole. Women with primary and secondary education only cheat the most.
More men (62.4%) than women (37%) of those divorced, separated, or widowed have sex with a person who is neither their husband nor living with them.
Among men, the worst cheaters are from the Islands (34.6%), followed by Acholi and those from Tooro, and the highlands (26%). When it comes to men cheating, it does not matter whether one is educated or not. However, men with no education at all cheat the least.