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My body is definitely my choice

2021-09-17  Frieda Mukufa

My body is definitely my choice
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 If women are not shunned for being sexually liberated, forbid the universe allows them to be in charge of their own bodies and have an abortion, or the lighter of the battles – start a journey of contraceptives. The many looks that come with this are what shock me most. I recently had a conversation in which I explained that, yes, women have fought long enough to be at the pleasure table and have conversations on what makes us happy, but not enough room is left for us to have the liberty to decide on bodily autonomy. Yes, I am referring to having an abortion because a woman just doesn’t want a baby and yes, I am referring to using contraceptives as a means of taking care of ourselves.

For aeons, black cultures and traditions have given women the bad eye when it comes to body autonomy. Often accompanied by phrases of, “aaye, oo, okuhole iipala nayi, kuwete kutya okuli

nokodepo.” This directly translates to, “No, that one loves sex so much, can’t you see, she is even using Depo-Provera.” But, these very same people are the ones who are judgmental should a woman fall pregnant. When a woman decides to take care of herself, in comes the imprisonment and limitations to their freedom and bodily autonomy. How many times have younger women visited clinics in hopes to get contraceptives, yet they were met with the side-eye and made a gossip session later; especially by the elder women who practice nursing? These are the conversations we need to have. If you are not for the well being of women, then stay away from spaces that are to be safe for women. We preach responsibility towards women, yet when women want to be responsible, we still have to do it according to society’s standards? Haibo guys.

Conversations on sexual liberation and taking care of ourselves while at it are of paramount importance. Especially for women who are in heterosexual relationships. I believe the one thing heterosexual men do not understand is the fact that, you are both entitled to your own body and how you take care of it. If a woman wants to have an abortion, that has nothing to do with you.

Consenting to sex is not consenting to a child. With the conversation of contraceptives, it is always shocking when men who don’t want children, act all surprised when a woman gets pregnant. Then the sudden responsibility of failed family planning is left to the woman. Do men actually know that they are allowed to have a vasectomy? For the living of me, vasectomies are reversible. This means that for you who doesn’t want children, your chances of not having a baby and having a say in a woman’s decision to have an abortion is literally solved. All you have to do is have that vasectomy, my guy. This then takes away the notion that only women should be in charge of family planning. After all, it does take two to tango.


• Frieda Mukufa’s lifestyle section concentrates on women-related issues and parenting every Friday in the New Era newspaper. She also specialises in editing research proposals, proofreading as well as content creation.

2021-09-17  Frieda Mukufa

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