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Why family planning remains a woman’s responsibility

By Winnie Onyando September 13th, 2023 2 min read

While numerous men relentlessly pursue the devil’s tango with unwavering determination, overcoming mountains with their sweat and blood, only a scant few are prepared to confront the aftermath of their actions.

Many men appear to shirk the responsibility of ensuring that unintended children do not come into existence, conveniently leaving this crucial task to their partners.

On several occasions, when a woman proposes the use of protection, their partner responds with sarcastic remarks.

Often, men dismiss the notion of protection, leaving women with no choice but to explore alternative methods to prevent pregnancy, such as relying on contraceptive pills.

After an unprepared pregnancy appears, the majority of men tend to withdraw which leaves women in distress.

According to the 2023 Economic Survey conducted by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS), an astonishingly low one percent of Kenyan men have undergone vasectomies, as reported by the Kenya Obstetrical and Gynaecological Society (KOGS).

Among 100 men, just one would consider a vasectomy, even after receiving counseling and persuasion.

The prevalent fear of stigma and subsequent ridicule deters the majority of men from opting for vasectomy, leading them to shift the responsibility onto women. Remarkably, this dynamic persists even when both partners have concurred that their family is complete.

However, many women face challenges while using contraceptives.

Women face not only the physical challenges of contraception but also the emotional toll of societal expectations and judgments.

This shows that there is a need for a more balanced and equitable approach to family planning discussions, where both partners share the responsibility and where cultural norms that perpetuate gender-based divisions are challenged to create a more supportive environment for women.

Also, there’s a pressing need to foster collective awareness among men to dismantle the stigma encircling family planning discussions.

The responsibility should be shared equitably, and cultural norms that perpetuate gender-based divisions must be challenged to create a more balanced and supportive environment for both partners.

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