“If you get pregnant again, I will leave you” this is a statement often heard by many women in our communities: we cannot fail to attribute it to male egoism, the persistent tendency for men to ignore the horrors that surround the female reproductive system. Because our bodies were naturally built to carry pregnancies, we are solely left with the responsibility to control child birth although getting pregnant involves sperm.
Women are practically expected to know every information about contraception, know where to access contraception and make quick decisions on a contraceptive method. We unfortunately do not have full access to the above considering that Uganda has an unmet need of 30.4% as of 2017(UHDS), which directly translates into,
“Our country cannot meet it’s target of reducing it’s fertility rate from the current 5.4 to 4 children by 2030 due to policies that hinder access to contraception and the heavy side effects that come with contraceptive methods.”
We also still have half-baked information provided in communities especially information around emergency contraceptives
“My friend got pregnant six months after birth because her partner didn’t want to have sex outside marriage. The husband demanded for intercourse whether she has healed or not and she was clearly told that she must control her child bearing tendencies” a case scenario given by one of the members of #whatwomenwant Uganda. Clearly, the partner doesn’t have information around contraceptives and child birth.
This is where we need to draw a line towards male’s involvement, with only a few men controlled contraceptive choices, men should be able to use a condom when their women are not able to take a pill or get an injection. Men should be able to choose vasectomy when their women have life scaring side effects with the available contraception. And mostly, men should be in position to support their partners through the choices and side effects of some contraceptive methods and put consideration that there are still uncontrolled counterfeit medicines on the Ugandan market. Above all, men should get access to contraceptive education and information.
Compiled by A Health Advocate