Daily Trust

Who decides the family size?

There are so many things to do and so many decisions to make before getting married. Some include how big should the wedding be, who should be invited, what kind of food to serve, what to wear, where to live, and so on.


One of such decisions is the number of children to have. Unlike in the past when people keep bearing children simply because they believe they (children) are gifts from God, family planning and size is a serious issue these days. So, who should decide or have the final say on the number of kids to have: the man or woman?

These are what a cross section of respondents told LifeXtra.


A graduate of Mass communication Abduljalil Umar said that Marriage is a conference room for deliberations all the time. “If it took mutual consensus to get married, it should equally take mutual consensus to determine the number of kids couples would have,” he explained.  

Like Umar, Blessing Chinenyenwa Obinna-Onu, a mother and wife, said they should both decide because they both have the responsibility to take care and support the children.

David ‘Seventy-eighth’ Psalmist said that the decision is hinged on certain factors. “The man considers the economic implication while the woman considers her physiology.”

David added that “tribal policy, their level of exposure, knowledge of family planning can actually influence the number of kids.”

Noah Bature, who recently became a father, said that his opinion on who decides recently changed. He said that the woman should be in control of most of that aspect. “My people, labour pain no be here oo, I respect women for that,” he added.

Ajibade Gabriel, an art student, said they should both decide while considering financial factor, family background, and religious factor among others.

Firdous Abu Bakr, a mother, said “I think it should be agreed on by the two, not decided by one person.”

A youth corps member Aliyu Jalal, is also of the opinion that they should both decide. He said “Parenting is a joint task by both parents so each one should have a say in the number of children to bring into this world.”      

A student Aliyu Ismaïl said that the decision should be “democratic.” He said “We vote, as much as I can afford and as much as she can go through with, then we reach a compromise.”

A poet, Salim Yunusa, said the decision is to be made by the couple. However in extreme situations, it should be the woman.

He said “If I were at gunpoint, it’d be the woman. She’s the one who’s going to risk her life during and after pregnancy, take care of the kids and sacrifice a lot of her personal engagements while doing so.”

A student, Moxah D’oluwa, said the decision on the number of kids should be the man’s because he “would be the person to carter for the children. Then definitely he has to decide the number of children he can carter for.”

So what of when the woman’s financial strength is more than the man’s? He said “the husband still has the right to decide because he still has the tag of the head of the family not the wife. He has to think farther and decide reasonably.”

A lecturer, Muhammad Bello Sada, feels that marriage is “a union, a team.” He explains that “In a union, you don’t take unilateral decisions. Every party in a union has an interest and while they enter into that union, ideally anything that has to do with that union needs to be a collective decision.”

Adamu Yahaya Abdullhamid, who is based in Minna, said that the man should decide because he is responsible for the up keep of the family as such he should decide the family size he can carter for. He insists that even when the woman earns more than the man it should still be his decision.

Sapient Chukish, an Abuja-based businessman, said the man should decide because “It’s his responsibility to cater for the children no matter how many.”