Are you having your children by choice or by chance?
Seun, a 22-year-old young woman growing up in the rural part of Lagos got married at 18 to Mr Salami. He decided to get married to three more wives and moved them all into the same house. Seun has four children but her mother believes that if she has more children for her husband, it will make him love her more than the other wives.
Sitting at her market stall, Seun was lost in thought. Mama Tope, called out to her; “What is the matter with you? You have been lost in thought for awhile.”
She sighed. “Mummy Joy, it is my mother” and shared her ordeal. Stating that it is bad enough she is in this situation, now her mother is advising her to stay as the favorite by bearing as many children as her husband wants. Her focus was to raise the children she already has, afterall her husband has so many children that he is not that focused on them. Her husband is now threatening to throw her and her children out, if she doesn’t have more children. All she wants to do really is to try out family planning. What can she do? when her husband is opposed to her taking charge of her fertility?
While not everyone’s story might not be this dramatic, who has the right to decide on contraception and on how many children are enough? When you overlay culture and the African way of doing things…who has the final say on when and if to have more children?
Contributed by Morenike Balogun