Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Monday, December 10th, 2018

Shyness and Superstition – Options for Women’s Death


Shyness and Superstition – Options for Women’s Death

The labyrinth of life has brought no changes in the world of Afghan women whose life is simple and sad. There is no clear census about their health. In the turbulent state of Afghanistan, there has been no remarkable outcome for women despite the mouth-watering promises. In annual ceremonies, only urban women are taken into account; whereas the bulk of Afghan women live in rural areas and they are deprived of basic facilities.
Afghan women form a large population of the country, however, their share of education and facilities is the minimum. Their health is at stake. It comes as woman is the beating heart of a family and having basic facilities and sanitation will affect the health of a child, family, and society directly. Do women have the opportunity in rural areas to simply think over such issues?
Women are not allowed to discuss their monthly period or sanitary issues, these are all taboos. A large number of women are not ready to talk about their illness to doctors or nurses. Moreover, there are lack of sanitary centers or expert female doctors or nurses in many districts and provinces. 
Many women have no access to sanitary tools. In some cases, poverty will preclude them from protecting themselves and in other cases those tools are lacking in stores in some districts. Shyness is very crucial that prevent women from doing what they are supposed to do. Afghan women feel shy to go to store or drugstore, which are run by men, for getting access to their necessary kits. Moreover, fear and dissatisfaction of family’s head will be an obstacle before getting access to basic kits. Due to shyness, women may not ask the head of family to provide them with the necessary kits.
These are all the issues behind women’s vulnerability to diseases. Women are prone to illness more than men. They are in need of better care, especially during their period or giving birth. But lack of access to sanitary centers or lack of education in protecting their health will lead women to illness or even death.
Believing in superstition is the next obstacle before women’s health. Women are more superstitious than men and unawareness causes them play with their life and life of their children. For instance, women believe that after giving birth to a baby, strangers must not go their homes for forty days or else women will be in kind of danger. Due to this fact, many women are not willing to give birth in hospitals rather they tend to give birth in their homes with the support of an old lady. Therefore, some women lose their lives during giving birth without doctor.
Likewise, many women and children will not be carried to doctor after falling ill. The first choice is that they have to go to mullahs for talisman but carrying them to doctor is the last resort. That is why the mortality rate of mothers and children are so high.
Within the past years, small steps have been taken in this respect. But there are many regions which are deprived of basic tools and information. As it was mentioned above, only cities and the centers of districts and maybe some suburbs will be informed from awareness programs; whereas the residents of remote areas live with the past view and the life of women is still cheap. That is to say, although the life of all is cheap in this country, women are extremely worthless.
In spite of all the hustle and bustle taking place in cities on Mother’s Day, rural areas are not aware of such a day and people live there centuries back. Although rural women run a part of country’s economy, they have always been bereft of facilities. One will say that men also live with small amount of facilities in this country. That is true. But the main issue is that men have more freedom than women. They have access to economic facilities and they are less vulnerable to diseases than women. The said issues leave women highly vulnerable and lead to mother’s death.
Mother’s morality rate is extremely high during pregnancy and afterward. In many cases mothers or children lose their lives. The infant mortality rate depends on mother’s health condition. Since many mothers are unaware of their health, they lose their children as a result of their own diseases. This is a true fact in Afghanistan and mother’s good health condition will ensure the health of children. Sound and aware mothers will have sound family that will ultimately lead to a sound society. Hence, all mothers will have to take care of their health in proper way. After all, the government must support women and provide them medical and sanitary facilities. It is said in article 54 of Afghan Constitution, “Family is the fundamental pillar of the society, and shall be protected by the state. The state shall adopt necessary measures to attain the physical and spiritual health of the family, especially of the child and mother, upbringing of children, as well as the elimination of related traditions contrary to the principles of the sacred religion of Islam.” But the government yet to take necessary measures for protecting the health of mothers and children.

Fatima Faizi is the permanent writer of the Daily Outlook Afghanistan. She can be reached at the outlookafghanistan@gmail.com

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