How Many Men In Africa will Go for Vasectomy a Family Planning method? Would you Support your man? Would you as a Man go for it? #WORLD VASECTOMY DAY

Men on a morning jog on a Saturday

Vasectomy, now this sounds like a big word that people often wonder what it means? It is simply a male permanent contraceptive. Usually, a minor surgical procedure is carried out which prevents sperms that can fertilize a female’s egg from getting across during sexual intercourse in simple terms. It is a contraceptive method used by couples who do not want to have any more children.

This is one family planning method that men are afraid of taking up especially in our African setting. This is because they are afraid that it might affect their libido and ability to enjoy sex with their spouses/partners. Even my fellow women clan refuse to support their men in taking this option 😀😀. Rest easy performing a vasectomy does no harm to a man’s libido or sexual performance. Many men worry about the risks involved in doing a vasectomy so learn more about it to make an informed choice.

Vasectomy is simply a shared responsibility in a couple’s family planning efforts know more about your contraceptive options as a couple.

Back to my question would you be willing to try the option of Vasectomy? Share your thoughts.

Adebisi Adetunji(C)
BusyBee Media for Social Change & Development

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I Met A Girl at a Bus Station

technologytimes.ng

While waiting to board the bus en route to my destination (Calabar) on an official assignment this young lady, Amara(not real name) who sat beside me suddenly sighed out loud. Unknowingly she voiced out her thoughts, “How long will I continue to do this”, she mumbled. I was sited beside her and since we had been chatting earlier on about life in general, I took the liberty to ask her what the matter was in a concerned tone. Amara said she wish a man would come and whisk her off in marriage. She was tired of selling in a shop at the bus station. Enquiring further about how long she had been there, Amara said 7 years.

It has been 7 long years for her working at her uncle’s wife’s shop without getting paid. Amara was simply tired of this life that made her future look bleak. In her mind’s eye, the ticket to her freedom was getting married. Her hope is to have a man set her up for a business. I listened to her talk about her life and frustration then I gently told her that marriage is not the answer to the kind of freedom she dreamed of.

I shared with her the importance of having a job or some kind of trade of her own. Something to empower and give her financial freedom. Our discussions further revealed that she had finished her secondary school education and also has acquired skills in fashion designing(sewing clothes). I then encouraged her to pursue this business while waiting for the right man to come. It seemed to me that she had no choice but to live with her uncle’ wife who by the way had died. The widow housing her is probably doing her best to feed and cloth Amara including her own children.

After my attempt to inspire Amara to pursue her dreams she had this to say”Some girls are lucky; they get married and their husband sets them up in a business. Why can’t my own be like that?”. I kept quiet and thought to myself … “you may never understand the reality of her world”. Soon Amara stood up trying to chat with some men and bus drivers who work at the station. As I boarded my bus on the way to my destination, I hoped that things will turn out well for Amara; I hoped that she will not fall into the hands of men who will take advantage of her.

I wished that I lived in her town to possibly still keep in touch and help link her to opportunities and resources but all I had were my few words of counsel. Many young girls are out there just hoping for a brighter future like Amara. Perhaps if she had a higher education maybe her life might be easier in getting a paying job.

A lot of girls out there who come from a humble and economically struggling background as I have observed believe that finding a husband who will provide for them is the answer to their financial troubles. Maybe a few girls get lucky but often these girls find themselves in tougher situations when the man cannot provide as they had hoped.

We need to educate our girls/women; we need to empower them. It starts with each family, don’t just allow your girl/daughter to only sell for you in your shop, ensure that she is truly empowered for the future. Marrying her off is not the answer to your economic and financial problems. You may soon have to care for her and her babies if the man is irresponsible. This will become a big burden. You can also share this wisdom with people who think like this as they come your way in the marketplace, bus station, taxi or wherever.

Educate a Girl, Give her a better future
To empower a woman is to empower a family and nation.

Adebisi Adetunji (C)

Tips to Kick Start Your Week #2 – Mundane Monday

#Humour
This is what we got for breakfast at a workshop. 

Yeah trust my fellow Nigerian clan… Meat pie, fish roll and one meat plus a cup of tea is an appetizer! 😀😀.

Correct breakfast is a full plate of beans and plantain and for some a big bowl of eba or fufu… 😂😂 will suffice for the whole day. 

So here we were at the workshop praying that lunch time will come quickly as our stomachs rumbled.

Welcome to a brand new week. It is a  week filled with new possibilities.

What you need do to have a successful week.

  • Be optimistic,
  • write a few points on things you want to achieve
  • Go for it

While you are reeving “your engine” and charging up to run this week’s race remember…

  • Remember to take a good breakfast before setting out in the morning.
  • Remember to take a break in between your tasks for the day.
  • Remember to rest and sleep well at night.
  • Remember to take care of yourself as well as you do with work.

It is not what you are going to do that matters but what you are doing now – Napoleon Hill 

Enjoy your week!
Adebisi Adetunji (C) BusyBee Media for Social Change and Development. 

 

CIRDDOC : Advocacy and Behavior Change Messages Development Workshop to Accelerate Abandonment of FGMC – Understanding Why FGMC is still in Practice.

The campaign to end female genital mutilation and cutting (FGMC) has been on for many years, yet it is still been practiced by many people and communities across the world. Statistics show that FGMC is practiced in about 28 countries across the world. It is said that 3million girls are at risk of being cut per year. This then is a serious problem.

Why all the hulabulah about ending FGMC or female circumcision as some people say, after all boys are also circumcised? It is different in the sense that this practice is a violation of the human/sexual rights of the girl child and women on many levels.

A girl is primarily cut in the vagina because society does not want her to be promiscuous; it is a right of passage to womanhood; a guarantee to be able to get married in the community. Cutting her clitoris or other parts of her vagina is meant to deaden any sexual urge that could make her look for a man to sleep with. No wonder then that after she gets married, she cannot achieve sexual satisfaction. This becomes a problem in the relationship as the man becomes also dissatisfied and looks for sexual enjoyment from other women.

A story in point: A man got married to a woman, not from his tribe where girls are circumcised. At first, this wasn’t an issue for him as he simply loved her and wanted to marry her. Many years later after they have both had children he suddenly wakes up one day to say that he wanted her to get circumcised. What changed? His family put pressure on him that it was their custom to cut their girls and women therefore since she is married to their son, she had to go through it. In order to save her marriage, this woman went ahead to be circumcised. I can’t even begin to imagine the pain she went through at such an adult age. Soon afterward the couple began to have issues with their sex life. As I write this the marriage collapsed as the man went in search of sexual satisfaction elsewhere. This woman was whole why cut her and create problems?

Why Behavioral Change is difficult: Points of discussion in the Workshop

  • Behavioral or attitudinal change takes time because it has to do with a belief system which would probably have been in practice for a long time. People do not change easily but with continuous dialogue and sensitization then a change is possible.
  • There is need to also understand why people or communities practice FGMC. Contrary to beliefs it is not intended to harm the girl but to celebrate her womanhood in many communities. Unfortunately, the adverse effects on the life of women, girls, and families are enormous. This include birth complications.
  • Engaging in dialogue and continuous intervention programs with practitioners will help to convince and change stereotype minds.
  • Medicalization of the practice of female genital mutilation and cutting : it has been discovered that some health workers in some communities encourage this practice. This is because they also come from such background and believe in upholding this culture. Messages targeted at making it clear it is unethical was designed to reach this group.
  • To achieve Behavioral change on any issue or practice there is need to create effective messages in appropriate formats in order to reach the target audience.
  • It is necessary to make an assessment from time to time the progress made in bringing about the attitudinal change.

 At the workshop on Advocacy & behavioral Change messages to accelerate the abandonment of FGMC participants’ drawn from various groups, professions from different parts of Nigeria assessed old messages to know whether they are appropriate and effective as new ones were developed.

If the practice of killing of twins and tribal marks could be abandoned then it is possible to end FGMC

 Facilitators :
Benjamin C. Mbakwem,
FGM/C Consultant for Ebonyi & Imo State
UNICEF Enugu Field Office
Phone: +(234)-803-3330586
Toyin Afachung,  Communication for Development Consultant
Adebisi Adetunji (C)

Woman To Woman Talk #23 She Won’t Let Them Do It!

Recently while talking to Mariam (not real name) who was delivered of her baby girl a few months ago, she revealed something that surprised me and I was touched. We were simply talking about certain cultural practices that are harmful to the wellbeing of our children. After she had her baby, a discussion between her mother-in-law and some older women took place. There was a plan to circumcise Mariam’s little girl but there was, however, a stumbling block. Mariam’s mother-in-law knew that she was stubborn and wondered what to do about ensuring that the old custom is upheld in the interest of her granddaughter or so it seems. One day this mother-in-law finally presented the matter to Mariam who stood her ground in refusing to have her daughter cut in the vagina. An argument ensued but Mariam prevailed. She points blank told her mother-in-law that she would not allow anyone to cut her little girl! And I must also commend Mariam’s husband here who supported the decision not to allow their daughter to be cut. I mean he could have sanctioned the plan to do this in the name of not wanting to offend his family.

I was surprised that this practice of mutilating girls in their vagina was still been practiced amongst the educated elites. Often we think that some harmful practices that we try to create awareness about with the intention of ending it, is simply a problem common among the uneducated rural. This is not the case many times.

So dear woman, do not sit on the fence thinking that there is nothing you can do about ending any form of abuse or practice that can be harmful to your child. Yes, a lot of times, particularly in our strong African cultural heritage men, decide something’s but this is not to say you should not speak up when it is a matter of what could harm you or your child.

Speaking up and saying NO, is the first step in protecting our girls from child marriage, female genital mutilation and cutting(FGMC) and other forms of harmful practices.

This post was inspired by discussions from a workshop on Advocacy & behavior Change Messages Development to abandonment of FGMC that I am participating in. It is put together by Civil Source Development & Documentation Cenre(CIRDDOC) Nigeria in partnership with UNFPA

Adebisi Adetunji (c)

 

Woman to Woman Talk #22 – She Poured Hot Water on “the other Woman” In Her Husband’s Life

I was listening to a newspaper review a few days ago and one of the stories prompted this post.
The gist was that a woman angry with her husband’s lover decided to teach her a lifetime’s lesson: By pouring hot water on the said lady!! 😱 Now she has been arrested by the police to face the wrath of the law for physically assaulting someone.

Now tell me… What did she actually stand to gain by her actions… Self inflicted punishment. Now she will really loose her man, her freedom and her hard earned resources depending on what type of punishment will be meted out to her.

The above story is a familiar one. Often we hear of partners who express their anger towards a cheating partner by attacking his new lover/woman sharing him with you. Most times I am flabbergasted and somewhat concerned when women fight over a man. I guess such a lady /woman is trying to protect her territory.
😀

Of course you feel betrayed, hurt and some anger too when you find out that your man is cheating on you and that’s normal!

But how do you channel this emotions right such that you don’t give in to that momentary madness to harm your man or the “other woman”?

  • Understand that knowing about” the other woman” gives you an opportunity to protect yourself. Now you know that your partner or spouse is cheating on you. What if you never found out? So knowing is an information to arm yourself. This knowledge helps you to discover that there is a problem.
  • Are you really sure that he is cheating on you? I hope it is not a figment of your imaginations fired by unhealthy jealousy or possessive attitude. You stand the risk of loosing him if you go attacking an innocent “other woman”.
  • Fight your battle with love wisely. Do not act on the information while your emotions are boiling hot. Allow yourself time to let the issue sink in and achieve at least some form of calm. Cry if you have to, it is therapeutic.
  • Go for couples counsel or seek counsel from older couples whom you can trust. They should be people of experience who can counsel you right about what to do. Do not take the advice of anyone who encourages you to go fighting!! When the trouble comes rolling in, your adviser will leave you to face the music alone.
  • Confront your man and ask him directly about whether he is cheating on you. 😎 I know a good number of men will deny this and probably speak “sweet empty words” you cover up. Some even express anger pretending to be a wrongfully accused victim. If that happens and you are sure about your facts of his cheating on you, present your prove… Now watch his reaction. NOTE: If you are still too angry wait until you can have a calm conversation.
  • If you are still only dating him walk away now from that relationship. He is not going to be committed to you in marriage simply because you are the one he ends up giving a wedding ring to.
  • If you are married, it is not easy to walk away. You need counseling.
  • Find out the problem: Why did he cheat on you? Is it a one off thing or  has this been the practice with your man. It is a heart searching issue – Is there any role you played that led to this? Are there serious unresolved issues? Have you both been off sex for months unending?. You really must talk about this with your man. Counseling is key here.
  • Pray about this and just ask for guidance.

DON’TS

  • Do not report him to your family. They will be very emotional about the whole thing but if you do have a family member who can handle the matter with wisdom, go ahead. And just incase you do settle things between you and your partner/forgive him, your family will never forget.
  • Do not go telling everyone and particularly those friends whom you don’t even know if they were secretly wishing that you would lose your marriage.