“I never imagined my life could have been any different,” says Salma Begum. Like most women in her village, Salma was married off at a young age. By the time she was in her thirties, Salma was raising 11 sons.
In her sixties now, Salma has seen her sons marry women who remind her of when she was once a young bride. They face the same challenges – multiple childbirths and the struggles of raising large families.
When Zeenat from PSI knocked on Salma’s front door though, all their lives changed forever.
Zeenat was going house to house educating villagers about PSI’s contraception programs. It was the first time Salma had met a woman who decided when—or whether—to get pregnant.
When Zeenat told her about the health products and services that help women and couples plan their families, Salma was excited to learn that her daughters-in-law would have options she never imagined.
“I want them to have a different life than I did,” she says.
In Salma’s community, mothers-in-law play an important role in making decisions about their children’s families. Knowing her involvement was key, Salma encouraged her sons and daughters-in-law to explore different contraceptive methods. After individually consulting with doctors who are part of the PSI network, all six of her daughters-in-law chose to use intrauterine devices, or IUDs, which can protect them from unintended pregnancy for up to 10 years.
Just last year, we provided 1.4 million IUDs, in addition to 1.3 billion other contraceptives to women and couples around the world.
Today, with the encouragement of her daughters-in-law, Salma is a role model in her community, teaching other mothers-in-law how to empower their own families.