The drama of not being able to bear children – Savana

Date: April 13, 2011
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The inability of couples to have children is one of the main sources of marriage problems in African societies. Modern medicine points to infections (mainly sexual transmitted diseases), while traditional medicine finds answers in a phenomenon known as “kutsamiaÀ and the evil spirits.


This article:

–       Highlighted that despite the fact that technology has explained the reasons for infertility, many women are still condemned for not bearing children.
–       Noted that in Mozambique women continue to be submissive to men and they are downgraded by society and their own family for not bearing children.
–       Demystifies the notion that only women are responsible if a couple is not able to have children.
–       Provides an example of gender-sensitive language.
–       Brings different perspectives, both legal and medical.
–       Has balanced sources.

This article brings out the issue of infertility as one of a main reason for social conflict, divorce and domestic violence against women in Mozambique. In simple language, the article brings the legal and medical perspective of this problem, faced by 20% of the world population.

The article discussed those who have faced discrimination from their own families for not having children and they tell their story. It also presents the opinion of experts who share. A gynecologist presents the medical perspective of infertility and gives advice to those facing difficulties having children, while a traditional healer explains infertility as a problem caused by evil spirits or demands from dead ancestors.

Many women have been living with the guilt of not being able to have children, even when the problem often resides with the husband. This is, in part, because it has been assumed that if a couple does not have children, the problem is the woman’s. This misconception is challenged in the article by both medical experts who are quoted.    

The article highlight that apart from being a cause of divorce and other social disorders, the inability to have children is also associated with domestic violence against women.

It is worth noting that a male was also interviewed and discussed his experience of being married and not being able to have more than one child. His position in this article is very supportive of women.

The medical expert clarifies that men can also be the cause for a couple not having children. This is not an exclusive condition of women. He states that sometimes both husband and wife can be fertile but incompatible to each other, therefore not being able to have children together.

This article is a good example of an article that challenges popular beliefs. By clarifying misconceptions, the article can help many couple and families to be more tolerant and understanding with regard to infertility and child bearing.

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