RH promotion in the Muslim community

In China, there are 20 million Muslims within ten minority nationalities. The Muslim population can be found almost all over the country but most of the Muslim people are inhabiting in Northwest China, particularly in the 5 provinces (Autonomous Regions) as Xinjiang, Qinghai, Ningxia, Gansu and Shanxi. Young people make up 33.5% of the Muslim population.
Due to difficulties in transportation, unfavorable natural conditions, and less developed economy, the per capita income in Northwest China is lower than the national average, and there has been slower acceptance of reproductive health and family planning.
The education and reproductive health levels in this region are lower than the national average.

CFPA is dedicated to promoting universal access to voluntary family planning and quality reproductive health services - and is actively reaching out to Muslim communities to meet unmet demand and promote women's health.
CFPA promotes the reproductive health concept in a rational manner that responds to women's needs. Because of this approach, Muslim leaders have become willing to advocate and promote reproductive health among Muslim communities.

Resistance to Reproductive Health Among Muslim Population
At the beginning, the project met some resistance since most Muslims believe:
Fertility is determined by Allah
No foreign item should be inserted in the human body 
The human body should not be shown in public 
Abortion is killing life

Objectives of the projects
Provide better RH services to Muslim communities and improve their quality of life.
Create a favorable environment for the Muslim leaders to advocate for reproductive health
Reduce the resistance of some religious leaders to the concept of RH
Provide positive reference to RH and women’s rights and interests within the doctrines in the Koran and Hadith.

Activities
1. Translation of the parts of the Koran and Hadith relevant to RH 
2. Organization of workshop on reproductive health for religious leaders 
3. Provision of IEC materials
4. Provision of reproductive health counseling for the local Muslim communities.
5. Holding seminar and encouraging the sharing of experiences among the project sites at the provincial level.
6. Setting up liaison system for experience exchange activities

Approaches
1. Questions and answers: the Imams try to answer questions on reproductive health based on the relevant contents of Koran and Hadith.
2. Integrating: the Imams integrate the doctrines from the Koran and Hadith with reproductive health and family planning.
3. Making comments: the Imams make comments on the fallacies of the Muslims on reproductive health and family planning in relation with the Koran and Hadith.

Attitude
At the beginning, the project was not accepted by many of the Muslims because they could not accept the concept of reproductive health. Gradually, their attitude towards the project started to change.

 Before the projectAfter the project
Agree:26%79%
Support:51%81%
Participate:23%76%
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