If you were told contraception would make you unable to have children in the future when you’re ready, wouldn’t you be fearful of accessing it?
In Uganda, young women often hear myths regarding contraception that lead them to believe that protecting themselves against unintended pregnancy will be harmful to their bodies. This fear, coupled with stigma and hostility from men, is contributing to a very high teen pregnancy and birth rate in the country.
“A quarter of Ugandan women will have a child by 19. On average, they don’t start seeking contraception until they have at least two kids.”
In a recent article, The Guardian emphasizes how Marie Stopes Uganda is empowering women to understand that abstinence is not the only way to prevent pregnancy. Marie Stopes Uganda is working to help adolescent girls and women feel comfortable accessing contraception, and be confident in their ability to choose if and when they have a child.
With 30 outreach teams that travel across the nation, Marie Stopes Uganda provides women with the contraceptive option that will work best for them, whether that is an intrauterine device or an injection. These young women are striving to complete their education and fully participate in the nation’s economy for a more prosperous future.
“Without school, options are limited and the cycle of poverty continues. Maternal malnutrition, complications surrounding birth and abortion are all present.”
Marie Stopes Uganda Country Director Carole Sekimpi is hopeful that the increase in sex education and access to contraception will give young women the autonomy they deserve. She advocates for women to take control of their bodies and hopes that our services empower them to have children by choice:
“Our girls must have autonomy. They must make their minds up. They must make decisions for themselves.”
There is hope for the youth of Uganda to embrace family planning and empower a new generation of autonomous women.