24 July 2014

Niger in the News

This post in the NewYork Times came through on my facebook feed this morning.

What struck me at first was the advertised headline was 'Niger is poor and located in the desert'.  My first reaction was: well, NYT, at least you've got your first facts straight.

One line I can't get away from in the body of the text:  The country’s women, held back by their husbands and by imams who inveigh against “Western” notions like birth control, don’t demand it.  

"The country's women . . . don't demand it." 

Well, Mr. Nossiter, it's interesting to me that all the way from Dakar you assume Niger's women are free to make such demands.

Read the article here.


Michelle said...

A very pointed article. I don't deny that birth rates are high, but I do disagree with what is said about availability of birth control. I think the main issue is lack of sex education. For example, if people don't know what birth control is all about, why would they demand it? At the fistula centre we provide some basic health teaching and many of our ladies request birth control before returning home. Instead of looking toward one another, why don't we all start providing some simple education?

elisabeth barnett said...

From a retired occupational therapist, who worked in India many moons ago. I don't know what present day thought is on the size of families, but when I as working it was noted that the number of children people have relates to how many reach adult hood, and also how many thy will need to work to keep them in their old age. As standards of living improve, social services improve the number of children a woman has drops.

Deb. said...

I think the fact that you guys have so many women with reoccurring fistulas because once they've had a repair and they are physically able to return home, despite the advise not to abstain from sex for a certain period of time in order for full healing to take place, a woman cannot deny her husband . . . with all the social complexities, a woman can't say 'Sorry dear, my doctor said you should take a cold shower.' (hmmm . . . maybe that's not so much about social complexities as it is that cold water is only available in cold season . . . hmmm.)

Deb. said...

Valuable point, Elisabeth. I do think there is a factor of that here, but there is also an overwhelming social pressure here. Children mean status and status is everything.