Women in developing countries must realise they have right to good healthcare
Imagine this. Your child is sick, but you need your husband’s permission to buy medicine. Your child doesn’t improve, and you still need your husband’s permission to attend a health clinic. In fact, you need his permission to do anything to help your child feel better.
Imagine this. You have a serious health problem and have been told that pregnancy may be fatal for you. Contraception could save your life, but under pressure from your family, you are forced to avoid it, putting yourself in unnecessary danger.
Imagine this. You desperately need an emergency Caesarian section to safely deliver your child. This time, your husband gives permission for the surgery. But the doctor is unable to operate because your father refuses to give him permission to do so.
In my home country of Somaliland, I have witnessed these life-threatening scenarios happen time and time again. I have been forced to call in a police officer to witness the refusal of a male relative to give permission to operate on a dying woman. I have demanded that if these relatives refuse to give permission, they should sign a declaration in front of the law stating that they wish for her to die.
When talking about improving healthcare, it is paramount that local traditions and customs are taken into account. In some cultures, including mine, women – for example – cannot make their own decisions in regards to medical care, even in emergency situations.
To read the full article, please click here: http://www.trust.org/item/20131105143528-qavro/
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