Friday, October 14, 2011

Sexual Reproductive Health :: It's not your own business

My mother always told me to mind my own business.

Everytime I'm babbling around about this world could be a better if only people would do their task responsibly, she stopped me to talk further. For her, we could only done our part and let the rest do their own business.

But I can't !

I am a medical doctor, and what I always do is actually taking care others business.
I do care about other people's health, also about their financial insecurity, sometimes about their sex life's too.

It is so ridiculous everytime I heard people being so individualized and not really care about other people business.
Cause we know that we actually care!
And that's why we LOVE gossips so much.
Just look at the television where they talked about nonsense, these celebrities doing this and that (And oh how public adore them, for their shallow attitudes).

They (the celebrities) don't even care if you're injured and couldn't afford your hospital bills, but still it's so commercialized (and uneducated) that we're people thought it's normal for daily consumption.

I really think, if Indonesia people really like to mind other people business, they should do it in the right way.

There are so many rooms for help people, and yet we know that we're Indonesian good about it.

Remember Prita case?

Her case was so famous because it moved hundred thousands people to actually help her by donating small moneys.

It is in our blood. We're moved by social injustice. We could not see others people suffer.

So why we could not do it in a better way?

Talking about sex life. Hmmm... Yeah, it's always an interesting topic.

But why am I bring up this topic is because Indonesia, with 237 million of population, we're facing a problem of overpopulated country.

It's not as bad as India or China. But I'm sure we're getting there.
It's just a matter of time.

So why not propose something to stop this exploding number of citizens?

I would propose 3 things:
(a lesson learned from my scientific writing, only 3 points max.)

1. Family planning access for all reproductive ages people (women or men, married or not)
2. Sexual reproductive health information for all (esp teenagers, youth, adolescents, even kids).
3. Female education
[ Not necessarily in order, but those things are very essential ]

I was actually about to mention 'access to safe abortion' (if needed).
But I recognize this topic could be highly sensitive and leading to many discussions/debates, also touching religion/ belief perspective.
So I will set aside this topic after top 3 priorities that I've mentioned.

The first 2 priorities seem obvious and make sense to point out.
Therefore, I would start with my last point : Female education.

Why is it so important in sexual reproductive health program.

Because I believe the core of the problem in my developing countries (with overpopulated problem) is somehow interrelated with the (inequality) woman's position in society.

I will show this correlation with simple manner:

Uneducated female -> early marriage, lower wages in employment sector, low bargain power in intimate relationship, lower position in society -> (limited?) access to health service -> worse health outcome (for herself and her children).

Maybe not as simple as that.
In above calculation, there's always assumptions (and theories) applied e.g.
uneducated female less to have access to health service because she doesn't know how to find it (not informed) or doesn't know that she actually need the service (health seek behavior).

Anyway, I'm not the expert of such theories as well.
May the social scientists explain such behaviour.

What I'm concern is, how serious the government (yes they should) and also other sector (including religious sector) put effort to female education, if not gender equality in this country.

Why female?

Because I am woman and I know how care we (women) toward our family (esp children).
I believe if a woman well-raised, she could also able to raise a healthy child (or children) and taking care her family well. And hopefully the final outcome is a healthy nation.

Women are more likely to sacrifice for the sake of their kids and family.
We all know the story about women who struggle of her financial crises so that her children could have better life. And women would invest more on her child's need (men, even if he has kid, would spend more on gadget or his own pleasure!).

It is so common sense, right?

Another example is street kids. I've seen many of them without their parents in the street.
Some are altogether with the mother asking small money in the street.

Mothers are always to blame in this case. We're gonna say (in our heart, or loudly), 'How come the mother dare to do this to their children?'

Maybe they do dare for the money (it is a strong motivation though, as strong as many corruptors steal money from the government),
maybe it's the only way they know how to get money.

Female education though is not a simple remedy for gender inequality.

There's another aspect e.g. male education (likewise we educate female, our society indeed need smarter men, too. Just look at our public figures these days and we're realized they could be as ignorant as uneducated people as well).

In my area of intervention, if we educate the women about HIV and contraceptives- we should not forget to inform the couple (likely men) as well. Otherwise, the men would think it's ONLY WOMEN responsibility to take charge of family planning program, while it should be BOTH.

Also religious sector, could influence the acceptance of contraceptive options (or basically many aspect besides contraceptive).
It is a country with biggest number of moslem population anyway ...

And oh, also talking about abortion.

Yes, I do believe God and I do worship Him, and I believe there is heaven and hell.

But it doesn't make me against abortion, because I believe safe abortion could be an option sometimes.
I could not imagine the woman who got raped and have no access to safe abortion had to carrying fetus for 9 months unwillingly in her womb!

pregnant belly
And if we're pretty good at access to family planning to those who need it, we're actually don't have to face abortion issue at all.

Now, remember Ariel case ?
Ariel is a famous lead vocalist from famous (cheesy) boyband from my hometown.

And he got prosecuted for having sex in his own place, because somebody publicized his videotape (?!???)

It is really confusing case. It's his own (sex) business, he's not even stealing government money like corruptors !

I'm not on his side at all. (I'm not taking side in this case).
I'm just upset how people could care wrongly about this sexual case, while they should more care rightly about other issue.

So my conclusion is, if we're so care about other people's business especially sex life, why not doing it in a right way?
Why not transparently educated our people about sexual and reproductive health facts-
instead of tell them what to do.

I believe when people well-informed enough, s/he could weighed decision what's best for her/him. It's time to take our responsible to our body !

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