Skip Nav

Muslim Women Take Birth Control Secretly

Birth Control Rises Among Muslim Women, Don't Tell the Men

Nothing in Islam forbids birth control, but like Christianity the religion does extol procreation. So as the pill becomes more accessible in Afghanistan — a country with a fertility rate of six children per woman — it's no surprise it's controversial. Now that many women have access to it, they are forced to take it behind their husbands' backs.


Afghanistan is not the only third-world country (or any-world country, really) where women hide birth control. The trend became apparent when a Double X writer traveled through Kenya this Summer and interviewed more than 100 women and 25 medical professionals about contraception use and women's health. One doctor said the number of women asking about contraception, without their husband’s knowledge, has increased from around 100 per year to 100 per month in just a year. Yet, there are still doctors who refuse to prescribe the pill (that happens in the US!), nurses who report its use to husbands, and conspiracy theorists who believe those promoting it are on the "Americans' payroll."

Consider the ramifications of a woman lying to her husband in a Muslim country, and this all sounds like a bittersweet victory. Yet it's not all that different from how the US spent the better part of the 20th century, when, even after the pill became legal in 1960, doctors refused to prescribe it, black nationalists believed it would lead to race suicide, and the women who did take it often did so in secrecy, behind their husbands' backs.

Source: Getty
Latest Love & Sex