Health education: Empowering versus disempowering (5)

17 December, 2019

These are good and thoughtful statements. [Massimo Serventi, Tanzania: Often we think we are empowering by passing on knowledge but unintentionally we can disempower whole groups of people.

My example being, the many attempts to empower women with family planning education.

As a midwife this is one of our duties and a human right we pass on especially as a woman is discharged from care after birth.

I have found in societies like Uganda the attempts to empower women only disempower a man. In the Ugandan culture it is a man's right to determine the fertility of the woman and how many children she bears.

So why are we not making every effort to empower the couple?

Wise Choices for Life does exactly that, using the male religious leaders to reach the youth, boys and young couples with life saving messages about sexuality and Gods value of every life.

The messages passed on through faith leaders has more power and influence than a midwife in a clinic or hospital amongst the postpartum woman.

Our training workshops are reaching the youth before they begin families and so empowering whole communities.


Marg Docking

Executive Director

Wise Choices for Life

The vision of Wise choices for Life is to see thriving communities where every child is born into a caring, healthy and loving family

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HIFA profile: Marg Docking is founder and director of Wise Choices for Life, which empowers vulnerable men and women in the child bearing age group in Uganda with reproductive health knowledge and skills to break the poverty cycle. marg AT