Access and Barriers

Non Mother’s day

Now that M Day has come and gone, and all those who are mothers have been given gifts/ cards/ flowers/ breakfast in bed by the children who love them………….let us move on to the world where a mother could be someone who was forced to give birth to a child she never wanted, due to a sexual encounter she could not control and is now being forced to raise it at the cost of her education/ job/ career/ leisure pursuits/ anything else that she cannot prioritize because she has a biological dependant who will starve if she does not care for it.
What if she is 10 years old ? Will she be celebrating Mother’s Day next year ? You may have seen the news of the 10 year old girl from Paraguay who was rushed to hospital and the doctors thought she had a tumour.

They realized that the girls was pregnant — and her stepfather was the father. Now the shocking story has triggered further outrage in Paraguay after the health minister blocked the abused girl from having an abortion.

“In Paraguay, every day two girls between the ages of 10 and 14 give birth. These cases are a consequence of sexual abuse, and in most situations, repeated sexual abuse from which the victims have not received timely, appropriate protection,” said UNICEF child protection officer Andrea Cid.

What if she is not 10 but 42 and has just delivered her 8th child, has barely survived bleeding to death, and already has to start doing work around the house to look after the other seven……….
What if she is a single mother in a society which treats her like an outcast, her parents have disowned her and she has no job prospects…………

All cultures glorify motherhood. To be a mother is projected as the ultimate goal and we are told it is the most important job in the world. It is unpaid because what you get in return is love etc etcUntitled1Whereas the reality is that it is very hard work, it changes one’s life completely in unimaginable ways and for some, it can even mean the end of their life if they do not get adequate care during pregnancy and labour

Maternal mortality stands at around 210 per 1,00,000 live births and is of course much higher than the average in some countries in Asia and sub Saharan Africa.Untitled2
So let us snap out of this fairy tale romantic notion of motherhood and look at the reality of women and girls who get pregnant but then do not want to be mothers. In fact many of them want to be good mothers…….to the children they already have ! Or they want to be good mothers……..but cannot do it now –because they are still studying or aren’t financially independent or are not in a stable relationship

Untitled3If the mother knows best, then why can she not be allowed to decide when it is best for her to be a mother ?

A mother should be someone who wants to be one and whose children are wanted and who can both celebrate Mothers’s day as a joyful one, for it is indeed the unpaid labour of mothers which makes the world go round !

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