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Womb battles: kudos to resilient women on IWD

10 Mar 2020 at 16:25hrs | Views
Women have God-given perculiar characteristics which give them a clear distinction from men. They have unique and better ways of handling pressure as compared to men who often succumb to it. As the whole world celebrates International Women's Day (IWD) we at Tariro-Hope Trust for the infertile and childless (THOT) cherish various strides taken by women in various spheres: economic, social, political, religious and many other facets of life. In these reflections, of particular interest to us are women who fight lone battles which most people don't understand : womb battles or what most people know as infertility.

This year, IWD campaign theme is #EachforEqual which resonates well with our theme in fighting infertility stigma #childlessbutnotless. In all these two themes there is an issue of equality being advocated for nomatter what circumstances. "An equal world is an enabled world" - and every one of us can do our bit to bring this equality to fruition. Infertile and childless women too need that kind of equality with any other women as well as men as they trudge their journeys and seek solutions.

Infertile and childless women face a plethora of challenges of which many are difficult to understand when one is not entangled in the predicament. These challenges emanate from spouses, relatives, friends and communities. The problems are of varying magnitudes and take many forms such as abuse, discrimination, rejection, abuse, exposure to STIs, suicide thoughts, depression, loneliness, feeling of incompleteness, scorn, vilification, humiliation, marital instability and many others. However in the face of all these tribulations, these women have remained strong and hopeful for life. Indeed they may cry, may be demotivated, feel frustrated and so on but at the end of the day they pick themselves up and soldier on, thriving to fulfil Proverbs 113:9, "He settles a childless woman in her home as a happy mother of children. " These resilient women must be hailed for their endurance, bravery and hopefulness they exhibit during these ugly faces of life.

As the world commemorates IWD, government must support, protect and advocate for the cause of infertile and childless women. These women need social, economic and financial empowerment as safety nets as they wrestle infertility challenges bedevelling them. This can be achieved by fostering strong linkages between childless women and women socio-economic empowerment programmes. There is need for realignment of policies and legislation. There is need for alignment of legislation with constitutional provisions and legal review on penalties associated with infertile women abuse to ensure maximum deterrence through extremely punitive measures. Laws must be crafted that deal directly with their issues especially women who are usually stripped off all their belongings when their spouses die. More so, government must setup through the Ministry of Health and Childcare, systems that are safe, friendly and affordable, which deal specifically with infertility issues in the reproductive health sector. Health policy-makers are urged to begin to intergrate infertility prevention, care and treatment. Members of the society must provide safe and welcoming environments as well as protecting these vulnerable daughters and sisters from all forms of abuse so that #EachforEqual theme is achieved.

Despite all these shortcomings in social systems, the infertile and childless women remain steadfast, resolute and enduring as well as hopeful that one day they will hold their bundles of joy. They live positively knowing that there is life beyond childlessness. These resilient women must be applauded for this. Most of them are stronger than most weak men who shun medical routes, resort to bed-hopping in search of babies and trying to exonerate themselves from the 'barren' tag thereby exposing their spouses to some STIs as well as HIV.

As we mark IWD, we say #childlessbutnotless #childlessbutnothopeless and call for equality in life in men and women as we say #eachforequal. Kudos to the resilient women who are fighting 'womb battles', they are real warriors and victory is certain.

[Heaven Munyuki is the Board Chairman of Tariro-Hope Support group and Executive Director of a local NGO Tariro-Hope Trust(THOT) for the infertile and childless. These organisations offer psycho-social support, medical interventions, advocate for economic, social, health and legal systems that support the infertile and childless as well as raising public awareness on infertility issues. Whatsapp +263718745374 and Like us on facebook & follow us on twitter Tariro Hope Trust]

Source - Heaven Munyuki
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