It is quite common to find women talk about the number of children they want to have, but as they grow, life happens and they find themselves in situations they are not prepared for.
From having to wait many years to have a child, to having infertility issues or to not desiring a child at all, the journey to motherhood differs from one woman to the other. Sadly, women who find themselves in this category do not get the support they need. They are often criticized, insulted and made to go through all kinds of inhumane treatments.
The story of three women who fall into the aforementioned category explains how supportive the society ought to be to women who are waiting, going through loss or decides not to have children.
Taruri Gatere describes herself as a child-free woman. As a child, Tarure used to talk about the number of children she wanted, but as she grew up, she realized she didn’t have any desire to bear children.
Edita Hadassa Trip calls herself a waiting room. 11 years after marriage, Edita is still waiting to have children. When she first got married to her husband, she was diagnosed to have ovarian cysts, which was removed through surgery. She was hopeful that her baby would come after that but many years later, Edita is still waiting.
Sheehraw Githinji is a mother of two girls but her journey to motherhood wasn’t an easy one. After two miscarriages, she finally had her children.
Expectedly, the reaction of the society to these women’s plight have been judgemental.
“I have been told that I am promiscuous. That I’ve had so many abortions, that I am infertile and I am trying to hide it by saying that I don’t want kids,” Taruri tells BBC.
“Someone literally just face my husband and said, ‘you know what? You need to get yourself a second wife,” Edita said, noting that her husband has been wonderful throughout their journey.
While Sheehraw is now a mother of two, she will not forget so fast how the society dealt with her when it was supposed to be compassionate towards her miscarriages.
“And in our African setting, a woman is defined more or less by the role they play in motherhood. So, when you’re not able to carry your pregnancy to term, you become less of a woman,” she said, urging people to be there for women who have gone/ are going through a loss.
While Taruri hopes to see the day when society would be accepting of a woman who doesn’t want a child, Edita says she is not defined by childlessness.
Watch them talk here
"When you’re not able to carry your pregnancy to term, you become less of a woman."Meet the women who are challenging traditional beliefs about womanhood. #TheSheWord
Posted by BBC News Africa on Monday, October 22, 2018
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