• April 1st, 2020

'Infertility stigma against women must end'

WINDHOEK - Former Chairperson of the National Council Margaret Mensah-Williams says the infertility stigma against women must end. 

Mensah-Williams was addressing participants on ending harmful practices at the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) 25 Nairobi Summit held last week in Kenya. 

According to the Namibian politician, harmful practices such as dry sex, sexual initiation, child marriages, polygamy, widow inheritance and land grabbing need to be assessed. 
The summit was aimed at tackling problems and putting an end to gender violence, child marriages and female mutilation. 

It saw public and private sector partners pledging billions of dollars and commitments towards ICPD 25 to accelerated the promise of ending maternal deaths, unmet needs to family planning, gender violence and harmful practices against women by 2030. 

“I firmly believe in the importance to empower women and girls, especially the underprivileged segment of childless women who are mistreated and discriminated against and are subjects for physical and psychological violence in many cultures for not being able to have children and start a family. This is not fair and it has to change,” asserted Mensah-Williams. 

She added that over a million couples are suffering from infertility and one in every four couples in the developing world is affected. 

She commended UNFPA an UNICEF for creating awareness and programmes to sensitise why female genital mutilation needs to stop, and extreme form of discrimination against girls and women on every level should be stopped. 

“One of the most imperative way to stop this is likewise for parliaments to legislate on policies or laws that are encouraging and advocating to reform the health care practices in each respective country. Furthermore, women and young girls who are victims of this violation needs to be counselled and provided with medical attention,” she remarked.

Meanwhile, presidential advisor on youth matters Daisry Mathias, who also formed part of a discussion on young people, says serious efforts are needed to tackle HIV among girls.
 “The face of new HIV infection is a black female and young woman. We need to respond to these segments of the population,” she suggested.

She said one possible solution area is looking into digital rights and literacy because online gender-enabled violence and harassment against women has become a real issue.
Mathias said most risky behaviour, problematic mindset and attitudes against gender, and perpetuating a culture of rape or harassment is fuelled by attitudes that originate online by the language used. 

Selma Ikela
2019-11-21 06:59:58 | 4 months ago

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