So the Tanzanian President Magufuli, Just Decided to CANCEL Birth Control, WTF?!
East Africa takes the cake this past week and grabs a firm first place in the what-the-fuck-Olympics! | Magufuli | The Economist
East Africa

So, the Tanzanian President Magufuli, Just Decided to CANCEL Birth Control, WTF?!

Well, just when we thought we’d heard it all!

East Africa takes the cake this past week and grabs a firm first place in the what-the-fuck-Olympics!

Tanzania’s President John Magufuli urged the women of Tanzania to stop taking contraceptives last week. The President justified this absurdity on some really bad mathematics! 

As far as Magufuli is concerned, Tanzania’s population of 53 million is far from enough.

Nevermind that 49% of Tanzania’s population lives on less than $2 (£1.50) a day.

Magufuli made the announcement at a rally;

“…people who use family planning methods are lazy,” President Magufuli said.

Just so we’re clear, typically, an average woman in Tanzania has more than five children, this is among the highest rates in the world.

Also, we’re not quite sure how child-bearing and laziness correlate but more of that later…

What’s more pressing is whether these women have any say in what happens to their bodies and how many children they want to have. Magufuli made the similar remarks in 2016 after the launch of free primary and secondary education;

“Women can now throw away their contraceptives. Education is now free.”

Magufuli’s policies are continuously putting the women of Tanzania in harm’s way. It has become clear that the rights they have worked hard to attain could be in danger. And sadly, policies that deny education and enforce a dress code for the women in parliament are just a tip of the iceberg. 

“They do not want to work hard to feed a large family. And that is why they opt for births controls and end up with one or two children only”- President Mugufuli.

The ban in parliament following the president’s sentiments is alarming; speaker of parliament Job Ndugai banned female lawmakers from wearing fake nails and eye-lashes in parliament. When pressed with a reason, Ndugai told the BBC’s Focus on Africa programme that the ban was because of “health” reasons and did not care to elaborate. The previous year, Magufuli proposed that pregnant schoolgirls should be blocked from resuming their education after giving birth.

Despite this, there are some opposing the Tanzanian President like MP Cecil Mwambe, who has openly criticised the president, saying such comments contradict the country’s health policy.

Mr Mwambe went on to say that if the president wanted his comments to be taken seriously, he should change the health insurance scheme to cover 10 children instead of the current four per family.

Close by in Ghana the indigenous people of Ghana’s capital, Accra, say a woman is entitled to a live sheep on the delivery of her 10th child, it is called “nyongmato”. Women are bearing many children in Ghana despite the financial constraints.

Who will care for these children?

Executive Director of the National Population Council, Dr Leticia Adelaide Appiah, is taking a stand and considering Ghana’s growing population. Dr Appiah has proposed that women should be restricted to having three children and reparations should be faced by those who exceed this number. It is not to be cruel but to fight for seen problems of overpopulation and poverty. 

Our African culture looks at children as wealth but…

In this day and age, things have to be taken into consideration before we encourage women and God forbid force them against their own will to have more children. With today’s breakthroughs in technology and medicine, fewer people are dying and are taking up limited space.

Moreover, who is going to help raise these children?

We can’t permit governments to encourage mass child production…

And look away when they need health care, education and so on. Who is footing that bill? Keep in mind that Africa already has a legion of problems as it is.

Lastly, as a society we need to let go of this business of telling women how to live their lives; having a child is no joke when it comes to one’s life, finances, and health. You would think one is entitled to be able to make their own decision when it comes to carrying and bringing a whole human being into the world!

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