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The battle for birth control: Afghanistan's newest fight"Four children is enough," says the young Afghan woman as she examines a box of contraceptive pills. While charities have been able to educate families in some cities, Bashardost explains it is much harder to get information to those in the populous rural regions.Afghanistan has the second highest rate of under-five mortality in the world – thousands of children die every year, while every two hours a woman dies due to complications related to pregnancy and birth, recent figures from UNICEF show.In Afghanistan religious figures usually advise families – often via the men – on social issues.Mullah Kamalullah Hamid, a prominent local Sunni scholar, says that he is not opposed to contraception outright.A 2011 study by America's Centre for Disease Control found women who fell pregnant less than 18 months after giving birth were at higher risk of complications – both with their own health and that of their child.Despite many advances in the rights of women since the fall of the Taliban regime in 2001, Afghanistan remains a deeply patriarchal country, where men dictate how the family is run.
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