In Pakistan, contraception is a taboo, rooted in religious and cultural norms that hinders women from making a decision about their own bodies. Recently, Greenstar Social Marketing, the largest contraception provider in Pakistan ran the campaign #NoMenWithoutWomen to generate awareness about women’s rights to contraception and access to facilities that ensures that reproductive health. In a country where contraception is seen as a sin and abortion a crime, there needs to be more conversations about women’s autonomy in every sphere of life starting with if and when they want to have children. Here are snippets of the conversation:
— The Good Life Blog (@bloggoodlife_) December 24, 2016
In Pakistan, we lose THREE WOMEN PER HOUR due to pregnancy related complications. Alarming! #NoMenWithoutWomen
— Ayesha💕 (@Ayesha_aasshhii) December 24, 2016
We need more family welfare centres to educate young couples about family planning & complications during pregnancy. #NoMenWithoutWomen
— Sadiya Azhar (@SadiyaAzhar) December 24, 2016
— Quratulain Tejani (@qtejani) December 24, 2016
— Fatima Malik (@FammaMalik) December 24, 2016
— Hina Safdar (@hinasafi) December 24, 2016
The important thing to remember is that there are many methods of contraception and you should consult with your gynaecologist which one is the best for you. The following chart shows which ones are available. Currently, Greenstar offers condoms, pills and intrauterine devices (IUD). You can find out about their products here.
It is your right to educate yourself about all your options and to know what each one does. The Desi Wonder Woman aka Shehzeen did an excellent post in collaboration with an IVF clinic that you can check out here. Through my research too I found that “While 96 percent of married women were reported to know about at least one method of contraception, only half of them had ever used it.” (Source: “Population, Fertility and Family Planning in Pakistan: A Program in Stagnation” by Karen Hardee and Elizabeth Leahy). If 1/4 women in Pakistan wish to delay the birth of their next child or end child bearing altogether, their spouses and family should support their decision instead of the usual guilt tripping there is about having more children. The chart below shows how an alarming 36.4 % of the world does not use contraception at all resulting in high infant mortality rates and many women who die in childbirth. Contraception is your right and it is your choice.
Before you think of all the reasons why you shouldn’t plan your family, remember that healthy mothers make for healthy babies. You owe it to yourself to take care of your mind, body and spirit and have complete control and say over your body.
Disclaimer: This post is made in collaboration with Greenstar but opinions are 100% our own.