Why Men In Nyanza Fear Getting Involved In Family Planning
Category : Naya Blog
PHOTO Mr Okello, FP Male Champion, Migori
By Michael Oliech Okunson (@MikeOkunson)
Male involvement in family planning has been met with great resistance in Nyanza region more so in rural areas. Most men in this region are totally opposed to family planning because of the following reasons.
Majority of men in Nyanza believe that family planning threatens their gender roles in the family. In Nyanza a man is expected to be dominant, authoritarian and capable to provide for his family. Men involved in family planning are usually seen as overpowered and controlled by their wives and unable to provide for the family and to function sexually. They are usually gossiped about all the time. If a man is seen accompanying his wife to the clinic or hospital, people will gossip that he has been over powered by the wife No man would want that so it forces them not to be involved in family planning.
Men in this region desire to have large families. Many of them desire to have a lot of male children to continue with their legacy when they are dead. Majority of them argue that if they have few children, they are afraid that they will be seen as avoiding their male tribal duties to have many children and embracing the western culture. Others fear that death could rob them their children so there is need to have many children to replace the dead ones so there is no need of family planning since it controls birth.
Apart from that men also believe that family planning use causes low libido in women. This will force them to find other partners exposing them and the family to the risk of HIV infections. Others believe that family planning increases libido and promiscuity in women. They argue that since a woman knows she cannot get pregnant and get HIV she can go out and sleep with other men. Some men also associate family planning with diseases such as cancer and blood pressure. Other say that family planning causes early menopause, infertility, child defects and miscarriages
Men in this region fear family planning providers. They fear family planning providers would coerce them to use vasectomy, abandon polygamy and to disclose their HIV status and extra marital sexual activities to their wives. They are usually uncomfortable with discussing sexuality with wives. A lot of traditions in Nyanza communities are not open to discussing issues of sex especially between spouses.
Overt male family planning acceptance is highly stigmatized in Nyanza. Men in rural Nyanza need more family planning education. Male outreach workers and village elders can be used to promote family planning among men and help to correct misconceptions and reduce stigma.
The article was also published in the Standard Digital Portal, 2/2/2016
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