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    Promoting male responsibility in family planning in the Africa Region.

    Onyango-Omuodo D

    In: International Planned Parenthood Federation [IPPF]. Male involvement in family planning: programme initiatives. London, England, IPPF, [1984]. 9-12.

    Deliberate involvement of men in family planning matters has only caught on in the Africa Region at the onset of the 1980s. Prior to this, family planning had been of cooperation from their partners, women have sometimes tended to go about family planning matters secretly. Such an approach is undesirable and may have some serious consequences and implications, since family planning involves health matters. Involving men and obtaining their support and commitment to family planning is of crucial importance in the Africa Region, given men's elevated position in African society. The involvement of men in family planning matters will also accelerate the understanding and practice of family planning in general. Regional activities of Family Planning Associations (FPA) in Africa are still in their infancy. A major activity was a Tegional Consultation held in Nairobi, Kenya in February 1983 to formulate appropriate approaches and channels based on actual experiences in a number of countries. This Consultation clearly showed that men could be most profitable reached not as a distinct group but through family life education programs, community education programs and related organizations. Information, materials, approaches and guidelines on male responsibility are being acquired and developed on a continuing basis for distribution to FPAs and Field Offices. A review of FPA activities indicates that practically all FPAs will have some kind of activity aimed at reaching men. However, Anglophone FPAs have greater explicit male orientedd projects than the Francophone ones. Challenges facing this program area will be found in Francophone countriees and countries with concertrations of Muslim culture. Rigid policy and legal systems which favor male domination present anothr challenge. Major efforts, such as small-scale research studies, study visits to successful projects, training in project development and implementation, will be made to enhance the capability of FPAs in devloping and managing projects relating to male involvement in family planning.
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