A large number of women in Africa suffer from the dreadful consequences of backward ideologies and traditions. Recently, an African woman shared her story of how she faced a heated argument with her neighbour. The topic was about her ‘choice of deciding the number of children she will bear’ after her marriage. Unfortunately, in African society it is not common for a woman to choose things related to her body directly. This is particularly due to the absence of awareness about Bodily Autonomy in some African communities.
Bodily Autonomy is the right to governance (making decisions) of a person over his own body, life and future. It allows people to make informed choices about themselves without any pressure from the society or the government.
SIGNIFICANCE OF BODILY AUTONOMY
Bodily Autonomy is very important in the lives of all human beings. Especially for females, it is inevitable. The right of a woman to make autonomous decisions about her own body is termed as bodily autonomy. Moreover, it gives a woman the advantage to stand up and know her privileges and rights in the community as well.
The power to decide and control contraceptive use, pregnancy, and childbearing is called as reproductive autonomy. For instance, reproductive autonomy allows a woman to choose when to become pregnant, use contraception, or continue a pregnancy. Furthermore, it boosts confidence in women and they utilize their energies at the right places and the right time. Plus it helps them to get rid of unacceptable rituals that are imposed by society.
SURPRISING STATS AND FACTS
The following shocking stats about Bodily Autonomy in Africa are disclosed by an authentic source.
About 25 percent of women in this world are not free to refuse having sex with their partners. Only two out of ten women in Senegal have the power to deny sex. In Mali, the percentage of women who could make this decision of having sex or not is just 31 percent.
Similarly, another source reveals the following stats.
One out of ten women in Africa is willing to end or delay childbearing. Unfortunately, women are not using any sort of contraception for this purpose.
LACK OF AWARENESS AND DREADFUL CONSEQUENCES
Lack of awareness about Bodily Autonomy, results in sexual abuse, sexual harassment, coercion, and intimate partner violence. Furthermore, it leads to potentially depressed economic productivity in a community. Hence, delaying the progress of a nation.
VIEWS OF ADERONKE – AN AFRICAN WOMAN
Aderonke, a citizen of Abuja, Nigeria shared her views with HERWORDS about Bodily Autonomy. She further highlighted the importance of a friendly conversation between couples about the number of children they want.
Listen her out below!
On the whole, Bodily Autonomy is a basic right of every female and every person should accept this fact. After all, without giving rights to human beings, we cannot guarantee the progress of any country.
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