The impact of GBV on family planning

Female sterilization is the most common contraceptive method, used by one-fifth of married women worldwide.

Female sterilization is the most common contraceptive method, used by one-fifth of married women worldwide.

Male sterilization, in contrast, is far less common in most countries. Among developing regions, Health experts have revealed.

Contraceptive use is highest in Latin America and the Caribbean, followed by Asia. In sub-Saharan Africa, more than three-fourths of married women do not use any contraception. In developing countries, women generally have more children than they desire.

It is said that in Rwanda, for example, women would have 1.5 fewer children, on average, if they were to have their ideal number of children.

The gap between wanted and actual fertility tends to be largest in countries that are in transition from high to low fertility, because effective contraceptive use may lag behind couples’ desires for fewer children.

Butt, there other African countries where women still desire many children.

To be specific, in Rwanda, there are many challenges regarding Family Planning, the obstacles include Domestic Violence, where some men rape their women, ending up giving birth to unwanted number of children.

“I was once a victim of domestic violence, but after my husband stopping to beat me and abuse me in all forms abuses, he cannot reverse the fact that we have very many children we did not even space because my husband used to rape me and the next day would find myself pregnant,” Angelique Mukamana a farmer in Kayonza district told The New Times.

Mukamana says she regrets of the time she could not make any decision in their marriage, when she could take care of eleven children who looked like twins without the husband’s intervention, yet he is the one who had impregnated her in an ignorant manner.

She describes herself as regretting and condemning domestic violence for hindering them to produce the number of children they would have.

Mukamana married when she was still young and confesses that after getting married, she was beaten and raped several times.

“Giving birth to 11 children does not mean that they were the only children my husband had, I also had co-wives who gave birth to my husband’s children. And the man (her husband) does not have enough property to bring up all the children rightly”, she observed.

She added that she was the only one taking care of the eleven children by practicing agriculture to even sustain the entire family, at the same time the husband even forcefully sold what was harvested for local brew.

According to District Development Programmes Coordinator Eastern Province, Jean-Marie Vianney Makombe, many children in a family lead to poverty and then Gender Based Violence due to many problems that rise as a result of financial constraints.

He also asserts that a woman who gives birth to many children gets old before the time. Lack of limited bearing of children also exposes women to more risks, from giving birth/delivery, which is the cause of maternal mortality rate.

Makombe explains that there are some people who do not consider the negative results of not planning for the family. Some consider their emotional urge other than life facts.

He condemns domestic violence and misunderstandings in families, saying they lead to lack of proper planning for the family.

He is however, optimistic that with time people will keep improving their relationships as well as considering FP. With leadership and some religions being active, population increase will be sorted out.

“If you are to ask some people, especially the young generation, they will tell you that they will give birth to two children and among them, domestic violence is low. As they counsel them in church they also tell them to consider FP and all it requires,” Makombe stressed.

People have started to understand the importance of giving birth to children with planning. They encountered problems in educating their children and providing proper health support.

Thinking that it is up to God and it is God who gives them children no longer works, he points out.

Mentioning another hindrance to FP, he says there are some religious beliefs that do not agree with FP. He says religions have to sensitize people against domestic Violence and promote FP, it would be easy because normally many people attend church, not normal meetings.

Meanwhile, domestic violence has a great impact on health, to both men and women.

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