• Live
    • Audio Only
  • google plus
  • facebook
  • twitter
News > World

Tanzania President Asks Women to Stop Using Birth Control

  • Tanzania's President John Pombe Magufuli addresses members of the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi Party (CCM), Tanzania, Oct. 30, 2015.

    Tanzania's President John Pombe Magufuli addresses members of the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi Party (CCM), Tanzania, Oct. 30, 2015. | Photo: Reuters

Published 10 September 2018

John Magufuli, the president of Tanzania, urged women to ignore bad advice from ‘outsiders’ by saying that it is important to reproduce.

Highlighting the need for more people in the country, John Magufuli, the Tanzanian president urged women to stop using birth control pills, inviting criticism from opposition MP Cecil Mwambe for countering the country’s health policy.


Thousands of 'Pussy Hats' Swarm US Streets in Women's March 2

Tanzania has a population of around 53 million people, with 49 percent of them living on less than US$2 a day. On average a Tanzanian woman has five children each, which is among the highest rates in the world.

"You have cattle. You are big farmers. You can feed your children. Why then resort to birth control? This is my opinion, I see no reason to control births in Tanzania," Magufuli said in a speech at a rally on Sunday. He also said that during his travels to Europe, he has witnessed the harmful effects of birth control as some “countries are now facing declining population growth. They are short of manpower.”

He also criticized people adhering to family planning as lazy since they don't want to “work hard to feed a large family.”

MP Mwambe said that if President Magufuli wants his comments to be taken seriously, then he should change the health insurance policy of the country to cover 10 children instead of the present four children per family. 

This is not the first time the president said something controversial regarding women’s right to choose family planning. After the country launched free primary and secondary education in 2016, he said, "Women can now throw away their contraceptives. Education is now free."

In 2017, he also proposed preventing pregnant schoolgirls from resuming their education after giving birth.

The country saw new regulations about women the day after Magufuli’s comment though not regarding the health policy. Speaker of Parliament Job Ndugai banned female lawmakers from wearing fake nails and eyelashes in parliament citing health reasons without elaborating. This new regulation also bans women MPs from wearing short dresses and jeans. Dress codes are also set for female visitors to parliament.

Post with no comments.