Do women have a say in the matter?
According to Pakistan Bureau of Statistics the population of Pakistan represents 2.56 percent of the world’s total population. This should not be an alarming revelation provided the lack of family planning in Pakistan. The society talks about the twenty first century and its modernization but ironic is the fact, even in this century women in Pakistan are deprived of their fundamental right of family planning.
Many women across the country would like to wait for a period before thinking about getting pregnant. A lot of them do not have the resources and so want to delay their pregnancy; they want to plan the best for their children. Seldom does our orthodox society apprehend that. There are others who are just not prepared to have a child: they may just not be ready to be empowered with such a responsibility. But the brutal reality is that they have no say in this matter. Like puppets, they have to produce a child without any questions.
It may seem that this matter is related to the poor and illiterate women of the society but the harsh verity is that it is also true for the elite classes. People probe questions ‘Are you expecting?’ or ‘When will you expect? Its already been a year…’Such questions the society throws, it becomes practically impossible to plan for the baby. This is one reason why there is so much poverty in Pakistan.
There are many NGO’s working in Pakistan, who are fighting for the rights of women against issues like child marriage or domestic violence, to name a few. It’s very rare an instance they raise this issue of women’s rights for family planning. Also important to note is the fact that unintended pregnancies can have disastrous effects. All over the world, women decide when to have a child, there is no pressure on them, and they are absolutely free to choose. Would this be impossible that women gain the same right in Pakistan? Is it so much to ask of the Pakistani society? It’s high time that women should be made aware of their right and they fight for it. Government can also run campaigns to support this cause.
Contributed by Yusra Naseem Patel