15 September 2017

My Thoughts on Infertility

Infertility is one of those things that are the staple of the African movie. Diana cannot have children and is harassed by her in-laws and probably her husband. Or Cabangani is infertile and hides it from his wife and blames her until she cheats with Uncle John and discovers that it was Cabangani's "fault" all along. But more than being trope, the stigma is real in Africa. The pressure to marry and have children is greater in most parts of Africa than in the developed world where the lives of people like Angela Merkel, who has no children, pass without comment or consternation.

And I feel that is as it should be. For first of all society to remove the pressure on young families to conceive and second of all understand that not everyone is lucky enough to be able to create life. And that it is okay if they don't. An admission of these two realities opens up a world of empathy where infertile individuals are not victims to be shamed or mocked but fully rounded human beings who can be allowed to explore other non-traditional avenues, such as adoption if they so desire. Not everyone wants children and that's okay. And some desperately want them but their lot in life was against them having biological children of their own and that also is okay.

It cannot be easy to want to bear children when you want them, and it is our duty as society to not increase the pain of that situation by heaping upon people stigma and community pressure to a struggle that is deeply personal and touches on the core of someones humanity. This week is world childless week so spare a thought to those around you dealing with infertility.

Dedicated to G. E. 

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