Participation of men to follow the family planning program is still low. One factor is due to the lack of access to information for men, family planning services and reproductive health.
According to researcher of Center for Population and Policy Studies, Universitas Gadjah Mada, Issac Tri Oktaviatie, S.Ant, M.Sc, lack of promotion or dissemination of family planning for men is due to the fact that family planning policy in Indonesia is still focused on achieving the target of female participants. Women remain the main target of socialization family planning program in the hope that the wives will communicate and negotiate the use of contraceptives (Alkon) to their husband.
"This is certainly to be not in line with government effort to promote the participation of men and gender equality in the context of family planning, because it does not make men seriously a target of family planning program," she explained on Friday (24/2) in a discussion of Men Family Planning in Indonesia: A Half-Hearted Program at Masri Singarimbun Building UGM.
Issac said that despite the ratification of the policy of family planning program to encourage an increase in male contraception and not only focusing reproductive health issues on the government, efforts to increase the number of male participants are still quite difficult to do. The results of Indonesia Demographic and Health Survey 2007 showed the male participation is still low. The highest percentage of condom use was only 1.3%, while vasectomy has never reached 1% since 1991. "It became a challenge for the government in controlling the rate of population," she said.
Social and cultural aspects of Indonesian people, she added, are another factor of low awareness in men to succeed family planning program. From the results of research conducted in Gunung Kidul Regency, it is known that the public still perceives it is the responsibility of women. In addition, the use of contraceptive, such as condom, reduces comfort during sexual intercourse with a partner than other types of female contraceptives available. Meanwhile the method of vasectomy is still perceived as a form of emasculation and will reduce the strength of men. Wrong idea about this vasectomy has created stigma against acceptors who are considered by some people as the men who are afraid of their wife. Concern also arises among women who thought that vasectomy will increase the chances of a husband for being unfaithful to his partner.
"Appropriate socialization on the wide selection of contraceptive methods, especially for men, becomes important and crucial to be given to society evenly so that misperceptions about the use of contraceptives no longer emerge," she explained.
Besides, Isssac said, it is important to do immediate advocacy effort of local budgets that is more pro to the meeting of women’s reproductive health. "PLKB is also strived to be more active in promoting male contraception, do not just delegate the responsibility of the cadres in the socialization of family planning in the community," she said.
dr. G. Anung Trihadi of Yogyakarta Provincial Health Office also saw a lack of information among men is the cause of the male low participation in family planning. "The information on family planning and reproductive health is usually only obtained by the wife. Meanwhile, in the culture of patriarchy where information is delivered by the wife, it is very vulnerable to be rejected by the husband," he explained.
Anung mentioned the lack of contraceptive choices also became the low men’s role to participate in family planning program. However, the government has made a breakthrough by creating alternative method, namely a hormonal contraceptive method by giving injection every month. This method can reduce the number of pregnancies up to 98 percent. "With this hormonal method, the possibility for women getting pregnant only reaches 1-2%," he explained.