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From this allAfrica.com article, in Uganda, it appears that most men do not want women they are married to/involved with to engage in family planning.  While I agree with the article’s general premise that men should be more supportive of family planning, I’m very unsure how to actually go about achieving this.  Policies dictated by Western countries usually don’t succeed.  Furthermore, recent history does demonstrate that white South Africa was actively working on materials to inhibit black Africans from reproducing, so any skepticism regarding family planning coming from Africans appears justified.

For now, it appears the best way to continue advocating for family planning in Africa (and elsewhere where women are marginalized) is to focus on the women, not the men.  Create greater opportunities for women, which will allow to assert my independence in their own lives.  From this article:

“For those women who come, most of their husbands are not aware, I do not think any man in the village wants those things,” Namanya says.

So, women are already seeking out family planning, and the men mostly don’t know.  What hinders women most appears to be transportation issues:

Indeed transport was a challenge to most of the women that sought family planning at this hospital and they said that many of their fellow women remained home for lack of money for transport money to come to the health facility.

So, by investing in better infrastructure and by investing in women themselves, it appears that significantly more women would be able to engage in family planning.  So, while I agree that men should be more involved, that doesn’t appear likely until women are accorded greater equality in the society itself.  Therefore, the focus should be fostering the climate to allow that to happen.  Much easier said than done, obviously.

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