Are jealousy, possessiveness love? Crimes of passion are on the increase

Fadzayi Maposah Correspondent

There are generally three groups of contraceptives.

There are short acting contraceptives. In this group are the male and female condoms, the contraceptive pill and the injectactables.

In the long acting reversible contraceptives group are the implants and the intrauterine contraceptive devices.

There are some women who believe that once they have liked a contraceptive and are happy with it, it has got to be the best family planning method.

Some women do not just leave it at that, they want to make sure that every female uses that same method.

I was at one health facility and seated opposite the clients’ waiting shelter. I do that quite often. It is an opportunity to hear what people think and also why some services may not be generally acceptable in the community.

Do you know that by nature women are great at multi-tasking? They can be at a health facility, but doing other things at the same time.

They cannot just be still while waiting. It made me think of the rocking chair. It was made for people who cannot be still, even if they are seated, they just want to be moving!

One woman started talking about how family planning had empowered the female race. She went into the benefits of family planning.

She was passionate about how contraceptives had allowed women to follow their dreams.

One woman among the group wanted to burst her bubble by saying that when she had tried one implant she experienced bleeding.

The woman only stopped to tell her that one method may not have worked for her but there are other ones from which she could benefit.

I could not stand up to give her a standing ovation but I was amazed. I did not want to disturb the momentum so I sat upright in my chair and listened.

She was not yet done. It was like she was reading from somewhere.

“Family planning allowed one to have control over fertility,” she said.

If I did not know better, I would have said that she was a motivator for family planning. One of the unknown motivators, never paid for the service. Never one moment does such motivators submit reports or activity plans but there are busy at work, fully passionately.

As I sat there and heard her speak about how she had benefited from family planning, it hit me hard.

It hit me really hard. There are so many untold stories in communities. Real work is being done by people who are not paid for the work.

It is being done by people who are not salaried. That is enough to awaken something within those who have slackened.

Think about it by the time that I had a discussion with the clients at the health facility, someone had prepared the ground for me and it was ready for planting!

When the planting was being done it was team work so we were able to cover ground.

Then ground was covered real fast with support from the audience.

This was an audience that had lots of interest in terms of how they could manage their families.

It was agreed during the discussion that the women wanted to have children, one confirmed that she could have as many as five only that child bearing had to be systematic and orderly.

Later while promoting long acting reversible contraceptives, I shared that the chances of forgetting to take a contraceptive were greatly reduced and the individual would go everywhere with their contraceptive.

It was that statement of always being with the contraceptive that sparked a discussion that threatened to derail and uproot all the work that had been done.

One woman claimed that if a male wanted a child and the woman did not want, that man could tamper with oral contraceptives while the woman was away. How? The others asked? The woman claimed that she had heard that oral contraceptives and heat were not the best of buddies. So?

The others asked. So the man who wanted a baby could expose the contraceptives to heat and when the woman took them religiously they would not work. Violence !

They looked at me to confirm or deny what had been shared. I agreed that the pills should not be exposed to heat or moisture. Regarding when to have babies, I advised that there be open communication with the concerned partner. Suspicion and mistrust are not ideal in any relationship. Another woman said that some men always want to see their spouses pregnant or breastfeeding because it was an assurance that these women would remain theirs! Ouch!

Kuchengera rudo. This is a Shona proverb that means possessiveness is love. What does that really mean? Does it mean that love comes with a possessiveness?

I cannot believe that loving someone has to come with some pain.

I believe that love on its own should be protective.

How can I have scars as a result of being loved. Scars, being maimed or even dying in the name of love is a bitter pill to swallow.

It should not be swallowed by anyone.

There are stories that happen in this country that people fail to understand.

Crimes of passion are on the increase. There are individuals who have been beaten up for simply saying that they could not be intimate.

They were beaten up because they were accused of getting “it” elsewhere.

Commemorating 16 days of activism against gender based violence should not just be a remembrance, it should be a lifestyle against violence.

Gender issues cross cut issues.

That a man can expose his partner’s pills just so she gets pregnant got me thinking, there are opportunities for violence anywhere but one has to be intentional about not causing violence whether it is seen or not. We need each other.

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