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News release

Namibians support access to contraceptives and sex education, split on termination of unwanted pregnancies

19 Jun 2024 Namibia
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News release
Key findings
  • More than three-fourths (77%) of Namibians support the idea that contraceptives should be made available to everyone irrespective of marital status, while 15% disagree with this perspective, including only 4% who “strongly disagree” (Figure 1).
  • A similar proportion (74%) of respondents say contraceptives should be available to everyone who is sexually active, regardless of age (Figure 2). o Women, younger respondents, and educated citizens are particularly likely to endorse these perspectives (not shown).
  • Overwhelming majorities of Namibians say that sex education should be taught in schools (83%) and that girls should be allowed to continue their schooling if they become pregnant or have children (85%) (Figure 3). o Younger and educated citizens are more likely to favour these viewpoints (not shown).
  • A similarly strong majority (81%) say women should decide for themselves when and how many children they want to have. More educated citizens (84%), women (85%), and youth (85%-88%) are more likely to share this view (Figure 4).
  • A majority of Namibians say it is “sometimes” or “always” justified for a woman to terminate her pregnancy if her health is at risk (72%), if the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest (60%), or if economic hardship would prevent her from taking care of a child (52%). Views are divided on an unwanted pregnancy (Figure 5).
  • About two-thirds (65%) of respondents say a woman who chooses to terminate a pregnancy should be sent to prison (Figure 6).

Namibians strongly support access to contraceptives regardless of age or marital status, the  latest Afrobarometer survey shows. 

Most citizens think sex education should be included in school curricula, with the strongest  backing coming from younger and more educated respondents. And there is a notable  consensus that pregnancy should not interrupt a girl’s education. 

Solid majorities say the termination of a pregnancy is justified if the pregnancy poses a health  risk or results from rape or incest. A slim majority consider economic hardship an acceptable  justification. But views are divided on other reasons for terminating a pregnancy.