“A woman cannot use contraception without the husband’s permission.”
I wish men ever got pregnant and had to raise children the way mothers do to realize what a travesty of injustice this clause by Council of Islamic Ideology, Pakistan is. It should be the other way round….men must have the permission from women for not using contraception.
There is little consolation that contraception is not an ‘as big an issue here like in Catholicism'(as often compared by the apologists), but if Allah (SWT) allows it, I am sure the Almighty has granted this right to women knowing they are the ones who bear the children in their wombs and raise them. Making husbands be the police over contraception is injustice and no where in any holy texts can this be found. Why is it a rocket science that this is simply a patriarchal attempt by opportunistic men to control women?
Having worked in a conservative community in Makkah, Saudi Arabia in the field of ObGyn/Family Medicine for 14 years, I know exactly what this means.
Here is a true story, which I remember even the details of.
A 40/41 year old woman with 5 children, eldest in his late teens came to me asking for contraception. After discussion on pros & cons, she decided to choose a pill that was appropriate for her age.
Half an hour later, her husband, in early 60s banged the clinic door open and showed me the medication in his hand asking: “What is this?”
I told him “This is a medication for women.”
Him: “Is this contraceptive?”
He threw it in my dustbin and warned me that if I prescribed a contraceptive again, he will complain against me.
He closed my door back and I was later told that he dragged his wife to the car pulling her by her head scarf.
An year and a half later, the woman had a new baby.
Three years after the child was born this man suddenly died of brain hemorrhage at 67.
The lady was left with 6 children, 2 of them not even in their teens. And she was the second of the three wives he had left behind.
I saw her all the years, until I left the job, and I know in how much misery this woman in her mid to late forties was going through raising children as a widow on 1500 Saudi Riyals stipend as a widow.
(BTW this is one of several stories I personally encountered).
It is easy for men to dictate not to use contraception but it is extremely hard for women to raise children when men take decisions but do not follow through with responsibilities arising out of it.
Decision to bear children and their number must ideally be a joint responsibility. The woman must have a voice in that decision making instead of being forced upon her.