211 000 Zim women not on birth control — UN

HARARE - At least 211 000 women in Zimbabwe would like to postpone child-bearing but are not using contraceptives while one in 10 women die every day as a result of pregnancy-related complications, according to the United Nations.

Speaking during a media sensitisation workshop on sexual reproductive health in Bulawayo last week, Basile Tambanashe, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) country representative, said there were many reasons why women were not using contraceptives.

“There are many reasons why women are not taking contraceptives but I believe one of them is that they are not sufficiently empowered to make their own decisions on matters of sexual reproductive health,” Tambanashe said.

“This is why we are trying to empower them so that they will be able to make such decisions.”

Nevanji Madanire, the Standard newspaper editor, argued that some women shied away from taking contraceptives for security reasons in a harsh economic climate where at least 60 percent of the population is said to be poor.

“Sex is being abused as security in marriage and some women think that having children is they only way they can keep the man,” Madanhire said.

The available contraceptives in Zimbabwe include but are not limited to the pill, which is taken orally as a short-term homornal method for preventing pregnancy.

It usually costs $1 in pharmacies across the country.

Depo-Provera, an injectable which prevents pregnancy for up to three months, costs $3 at most pharmacies while implants like Jadelle and IUCD (loop) cost between $5 and $10 in public health institutions.

These contraceptives however, do not protect one against sexually-transmitted diseases and HIV/Aids.

Women rights activists say patriarchy is to blame for the unfortunate situation as mostly married women do not have a say on how many children they should have in a marriage setup.

Religion also plays a key role as some religions discourage women from taking contraceptives.

“We are currently engaging religious groups which we are sensitising on the issue of contraceptives,” Tambanashe said.

Comments (4)

"while one in 10 women die every day as a result of pregnancy-related complications" so there will be no women left in ten days? God help.

off topic - 12 November 2013

UK has a population of 60million squeezed on two thirds of Zim, why would the "whiteman" prescribe birth control on us when we are so few? Insincerity and deceipt. 1 in 10 women are dying of pregnancy? Birth rate for girls is less than 5 per hundred and a janitor journalist reports that 10 per hundred women are dying of pregnancy, then in 20 yrs women will extinct.

Mweni Tafara - 13 November 2013

The government should take seriously the activities of the UN agenecies in Zimbabwe. They are bussy sponsoring these NGOs which are promoting sex work and that is fuelling the HIV infection because if they are putting money and calling more membership it means they are dully supporting. They do not want these activities to end thats why they are sponsoring. CeSHHAR is 100% funded by UNFPA directly which is in the massive recruitment of the sex workers. Because there is a lot of money being put by UNFPA in that project, many people will not seek desent marriages or they wish to break their marriages so that they join these uncultural and immorally activities. We are now requesting the Head of State Cde President to immediately put a stop to UNFPA and advise it to follow their mandate. UNFPA, the UN agency has lost its mandate of capacitating and funding arms of government to implement critical activities. The government should do an audit to UNFPA and see which organisations is it funding and are they not punishing the legitimate beneficiaries by diverting funds? People in the community now know UNFPA staff and activities more than people and organisations with the mandate to serve them. UNFPA is now implementing and they should get their funds from government of Zimbabwe and not from UN. It has caused chaos in the health sector indeed. We request Dr. Parirenyatwa to re-allign the activities being done by all NGOs in the health sector and stop the UN staff moving into the communities mobilising people for their agenda. They are the one who are pushing the agenda of 10 year olds to be given contraceptives and the introduction of contraceptives in schools through the preservation of sexual rights. Please our dearly President R. G Mugabe, find their motive if they are partially supporting government parastatals and fully supporting NGOs.

bob - 13 November 2013

Dear Editor can you pliz put this mudzuri or Tsvangirai leadership debate to an online voting timboona kuti maopinions edu vanhu akamirasei paissue iyi.

The Alarmist - 13 November 2013

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