CONTRACEPTION – A MUCH NEEDED AGENDA TO TALK ABOUT

(Fizzah Hanif, Islamabad)

Pakistan’s population has increased from 40.4 million in 1955 to 200.8 million by 2018, resulting from high population growth rate in last sixty years. In 1960, the government of Pakistan launched the population welfare program in order to seize the increasing growth rate of population, however it did not see substantial progress, due to inconsistent policies. Despite being one of the first countries in South-Asia to make a commitment to fertility reduction as national planning objective, Pakistan’s family planning has a long unsuccessful history. Food for thought is that why contraception use is so low in Pakistan?

In Pakistan society the role of husbands in household and reproductive decision-making is significant and women often mention their husband’s disapproval of family planning as one of the reasons for non-use of contraception. Such culture exists because husband is traditionally less concerned about the social companionship with his wife and more towards her ability to bear him sons who would then carry on the family name, thus birth of sons ensure her position in the family.

Access remains a pervasive problem in most developing societies, and Pakistan is no exception. Large segments of the population, concentrated in rural areas, face considerable difficulty in obtaining low-cost, high quality family planning services. The shortage of family planning service outlets is especially severe in rural areas of Pakistan, where the greatest majority of the population lives (63% in 2010), due to which women remain unaware of the methods available, supplies of these methods, their cost and most importantly their usage.

Most common reason given for not using a contraceptive is religious concerns. It is argued that religious beliefs in Pakistan are not favorable to the practice of family planning and add to a lack of self-efficacy in limiting family size. Women perceive that the use of contraceptive might provoke divine disapproval therefore they refrain from using contraceptive measures.

So, what are we doing in order to facilitate women around the country? Probably the answer is “nothing”, because we are all set to invest our resources in beautification of one part of the country by developing state-of-the-art transportation system, but we are not investing in educating women on family planning. There is a high need to focus on providing accessible and high quality services on reaching couples to convince them through motivational campaigns. As husbands play an important role in their wives reproductive choice, they should be the one educated on health concerns, so that they can recognize the importance of contraception and refrain from associating it with religious beliefs.It could be rightly said “in order to influence the fertility behavior of Muslims, attention should be focused on changing attitudes towards fertility and family planning”


 

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08 May, 2018 Views: 344

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آپ کی رائے
A serious issue raised in an excellent way !!! good work Fizzah Hanif👍👍
By: Nadia Niaz, Rawalpindi on May, 09 2018
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