Why have four children when you could have seven?

By Jill Filipovic

This piece originally ran on The Guardian.com. The article takes a thoughtful look into barriers to family planning uptake in Niger and the dilemma facing organizations like PSI working to meet the country’s high unmet contraceptive need.

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With the world’s highest birthrate, Niger’s population is set to double in 17 years. NGOs are providing contraception, but what if women want more babies?

Roukaya Hamani has an in-law problem. Her husband’s parents want more grandbabies, but she doesn’t want any more children right now. She’s already given birth four times; one of the babies died, and so now she has three, ages seven, five, and 16 months. She’s 18 years old.

“I just pray to God to bless those three babies I have,” she says. The local health centre in her village of Darey Maliki offered her free contraception, which they get partly from the NGO Pathfinder, but Hamani declined. “Maybe [my in-laws] would tell my husband to marry another woman to have more babies,” she says. “If they want me to have another pregnancy, I can do it just for them to feel happy.”

Read more at The Guardian