Kabul— I am Turpekay. Yes, I am married. I have been pregnant three times and I have three children. I faced many problems. I couldn’t visit a doctor because it was far away from my house. Pharmacies and hospitals are not close to houses. It is difficult for a woman to deliver a child.

I don’t want to have more children, but my husband says that we should have a lot of children. We talk about it and my husband says it is better to have many children in a family, especially in Afghanistan. He says more children will help me with my work and if, God forbid, one dies, the others will remain for us.

We never used birth control and I don’t even know what these things are. But my husband would not allow me to stop having more children.

In my family they like to have as many children as possible because they like large families. It is part of our Afghan culture. If you bring more girls they will say you have to keep trying until you bring a boy, so that’s why they keep delivering children.

Afghan men don’t think about food and clothing for the children. They believe that God is kind and he will help them provide food to their children. They believe that everyone’s food is fixed or provided by the time they come into the world. If there is more than one wife, the average number of children they want is ten.

When you go to a doctor they behave like it is their home. The workers shout from one side and the doctor shouts from another at the patients and everyone behaves very badly. You cannot determine who is the doctor or the assistant. You will regret going there or going to a hospital.

The doctors should be kind, but it is the opposite. Our doctors behave in the worst way possible. The authorities should take action on it.

By Turpekay as told to Hila G.