World population control where female dignity is intact

Takes two to tango as the saying goes. If a permanent form of birth control is such that egg is prevented from meeting sperm – indicating two people are involved here. In the case that a couple have had enough children or perhaps both were in agreement not to reproduce, so logically either of the two can opt for sterilisation – why is the burden only placed on women especially the poor women around the world?

Each time I read about the female sterilisation gone wrong in India, I wonder how long it will take before people get dragged off the streets of Nigeria so the doctors could perform their duty of saving the planet on them, after all we are the 7th most populous countries in the world.

The recent case in Kenya is unsettling, mothers being sterilised without their consent.

Educate women on the issue at hand, forcing them will always backfire.

Rose is a 36 years old friend of mine, she is a devout christian, the Nigerian born-again type. She is happily married and at the point of her procedure had four children under six years and works full-time. It was after birth of her fourth child she decided to get on birth control, the one that is not only permanent but have high success rate.

Rose started conversation on the ‘best’ birth control measure one could use. We talked about a range of options from pills, injections, coils to implants, all of which were reliable but require paying some level of attention/renewal. Then, Rose talked about sterilisation as the one she really wanted to do because it is permanent. I am not sure I’d do that, not for any other reason than the fact that it’s just better to have the option open, I opined.

What transpired later was that Rose has collected information on types of female sterilisation tubal occlusion and hysteroscopic sterilisation, she has read all that needed to be known especially the risks involved. The only reason she brought the conversation up with me was to get support. I wasn’t much of help because I have never thought about that form of contraception before.

Educate a woman, she will make the best decision given her specific circumstance to the tune that everyone is happy.

A week later, Rose called to say she has been to her doctor, so she is convinced sterilisation is the best option for her. She is on a year maternity after her last baby and wanted to get the procedure done before she went back to work.

Husband laughed off vasectomy as if it was a curse.

The doctors had three more meetings with Rose one of which I was in attendance as a friend who is picking her up after the surgery. I remember the nurse explaining all that Rose had read just to be sure she understood every details, the likely problems that one could experience the available post-op care.

Thankfully, all went well. It has been two years now, Rose believed she made the right decision.

Rose would probably had different attitude towards sterilisation if it was forced on her. She lives in the UK however, women in any remote part of the world are not so different, give them enough information and a few available options to achieve the same goal, more often than not, they’d oblige.

The Kenyan woman would have perhaps done her sterilisation willingly if she knew it is all for her benefit. “I wasn’t part of the discussion.” She says.



Categories: Africa, Nigeria, Women

Tags: , , , , , , ,

6 replies

  1. This is a topic I’ve raised with family members and like nearly every other Nigerian, simply laugh the thing off. The thing is Nigeria is one of those countries which are most at risk due to over-population, the warning signs are there and as usual are not being heeded.

    From my understanding of your article, the emphasis lies almost entirely on the woman. Most men, are very immature and would rather hang onto some notion of being fertile, manly, virile whatever, rather than consider what is best for the family if not their society.

    Would your friend have settled for 4 kids, had she been living in Nigeria? Even her husband who is educated and living overseas, didn’t consider a vasectomy.

    If you don’t have the income to offer your family a reasonable standard of living, why have more? That only feeds poverty and a whole load of undesirable social ills.

    I knew a colleague at work, he was English, he had 3 sons and had gone ahead and had a vasectomy. No way did he feel emasculated, or less of a man. He gave no impression he was dissatisfied with his married life. He said he had discussed it with his wife and they had arrived at an agreement.

    Nigerian men, like to boast of numerous wives and countless children. Recently a Hausa comedian stage name “Dan Ibro”, died at the age of 44, he had 3 wives and 15 children. The mind boggles as to how many children he would have had if he had lived longer. There is another man from Niger state, who was 86 years of age and has hundreds of wives and children.

    I feel the Nigerian government like it’s populace doesn’t take this seriously. Contraception is not widely available. I question the role of education, I have several aunts, they all hold degrees, one a phd from America. Two of them have 8 children and one has 5 children. When questioned they hide behind biblical passages and say there is plenty of land in Nigeria. They have all relocated abroad, and between them only one of their children remain in Nigeria. What was that they were saying..?

    If countries like China and Brazil, which are a lot more wealthy and have a lot more land, saw the need to reduce the population growth, why not Nigeria, which is a lot more smaller and poorer. I’ve heard people like Ayo Akinfe, argue that the way to increase the economy is to have more people. Yet the most desirable countries to live in the world are characterised by low population growth, ie Scandinavia and Switzerland.

    If we look at Nigeria, the warning signs are continued clashes between communities over land, clashes between nomads and settled communites. Agreed a lot of this is down to poor planning and no management. There is still the question of desertification hitting the north and spreading south, in the east there is erosion and in parts of the west over-crowding. The loss of arable land is due to unsustainable agricultural practices. To add to the mix, climate change and pollution hitting the oil producing areas, the political class as usual are oblivious to all of this while “Rome burns”.

    Before the end of the century, the population of Nigeria is likely to hit 900 million people. This can neither be good or healthy, there simply isn’t the space and quality of life for the majority of its estimated 180 million people is already pretty terrible. Along with a depressed standard of living, will come increasing crime and political instability and social strife.

    Although I do question the role of education, there is no other way to bring this message home. Nigeria is not disciplined like China, where what the government says goes.

    Men have to play their role. They not only need to agree if contraception is to be adopted, but should adopt practices to build a happy home. Marrying off your daughters early, or turfing your sons out to become “almajiri” is irresponsible. Encouraging youth to beg or become criminals should be discouraged.

    The heart of this is the re-adjustment of power within the family. A discussion will have to be entered into, and an agreement arrived at, the state must do it’s part by providing contraception. Religion is really no excuse either, Iran and Indonesia have both curbed their popluation growth (both are Muslim nations). Italy and Brazil have reduced theirs both Christian nations, so why can’t Nigeria? It is not quantity but quality that matters.

    If people fail to react, it means we are only thinking of today, without a care for tomorrow? Saying “who knows what tomorrow will bring”, is again no excuse for taking the responsible actions now to create a better tomorrow for future generations.

    Liked by 1 person

    • jco – thank you, I have leant so much from your comments.

      My friend grew up in Nigeria but married to a UK born Nigerian, She would not have had four children. Neither of the couple wanted four children, she didn’t like the idea of Pills hence she did sterilisation to eliminate any mistakes (chances of accidental preg. in this case is very low with no further commitment for her)

      Most Nig men degree holder or not are not interested in birth control that involves them be it condom or vasectomy – govt has to educate in this area and perhaps give incentives, this is what’s been done in India. And hell no, Nig. would be in ashes if Chinese method is adopted – we love their goods and now their investment but can’t face the reality that comes with population control. Religion is not helping at all in our case, religious leaders twisted everything so people can keep coming – very sad.

      I tend to focus my writing on women making improvement in all areas because I know educated and well informed ones will transform our society positively. I know not all of our men are self-centered but quite a lot deliberately twist messages to mean attack on our men ignoring glaring facts.

      Like

      • FK, you touch subjects that many consider unimportant, and you try to understand. You don’t hide behind uncomfortable truths. You face issues, which Nigerians are good at avoiding. Hence I read and understand things that I never knew existed in Nigeria. Thank you.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I think we are funny people in Nigeria, we want globalisation and all the benefits that come with it but none of the adjustment especially when it means that some things that can better be described as oppression but we chose to call it tradition will be affected.

          Like

  2. True. In most cases, men act as if vasectomy is a curse. I have two cousins, both of whom have undergone tubectomy along with their C-section operations. I wondered about the logic then, and I still wonder now.

    Vasectomy is a simpler procedure compared to tubectomy, and yet, it is the women who undergo it. In fact, here in India, the government has provided a higher incentive for vasectomies, and yet the percentage of men who undergo it is abysmally low.

    Liked by 1 person

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