Sio talks sex

March 24th, 2009 at 6:43 am by David Farrar

Labour’s Mangere MP Su’a William Sio is showing some good leadership reports the Herald:

Open discussions about should be encouraged to prevent young women from getting rid of their newborns, an MP said.

Last Thursday a woman gave birth during a flight from Apia to Auckland and dumped the child in a rubbish bin. The woman was later found inside Auckland International Airport looking pale and bloodstained and was taken to hospital – with the child, who was found alive.

Mangere MP Su’a William Sio said it was not the first time a Samoan woman had tried to get rid of her newborn.

Cultural stigma and the shame of having a child while unmarried were some of the key issues surrounding why young women – both in Samoa and New Zealand – dumped their children, Mr Sio said.

“This is mostly derived firstly by fear – fear that they’ve done something wrong and fear of shame of the [unmarried] mother bringing to the family.” …

Mr Sio acknowledged that because many Pacific parents tended to shy away from talking about sex with their children, it was difficult for young unmarried women who found themselves pregnant.

I think Sio is right that the solution is changing the culture to one where young Samoan women especially don’t feel they can’t tell anyone they are pregnant.

A few years back at one workplace, one of the staff was a Samoan woman – probably aged around 25. One day she didn’t turn up to work. This was unusual as she was the most reliable staffer you could imagine. We were all worried something had happened, and then a bit before midday her boyfriend phoned to say she had given birth that mornng, so will be off work for a couple of days.

Everyone was pretty staggered. Partly because she didn’t look pregnant (and she was not large), but also because we could not work out why she wouldn’t have at least told her boss and arranged maternity leave, let alone give the office daily updates on her pregnancy like most pregnant women do :-)

But of course that is where cultures can have such differences. It was a good lesson about not assuming everyone reacts the same way. It was somewhat sad though that what can be such a joyful period for many women, was seen as a period of shame or embarrassment.

Tags: , ,

7 Responses to “Sio talks sex”

  1. goodgod (1,348 comments) says:

    Mangere MP Su’a William Sio can take the unwanted children home and put them to work supplying the hidden chop suey market.

    Rent a warhouse on Great south road, 24hr shifts of youngin’s stirring cauldrens of hot ricey goo – there’s at least $800,000 to be made on Pacifica weekend.

    Pacifika? Hell I don’t know. Whatever has more street cred.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  2. EverlastingFire (286 comments) says:

    He should also be encouraging his people to have less than 6+ kids.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  3. expat (4,050 comments) says:

    Thats really fucking obnoxious you two above.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  4. Brian Smaller (4,023 comments) says:

    expat – he should be encouraging them to have the number of kids that they can afford to bring up without relying on the State. I know a Samoan guy with eight kids (I coached one of them). He earns about half what I do and takes home more in the hand than me from all his state assistance.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  5. JC (956 comments) says:

    Young PI women coming here and having babies looks remarkably like young white women leaving here for Australia in the 1960s “for a holiday”.

    JC

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  6. tvb (4,422 comments) says:

    It was not so very long ago when the same “shame” occurred in NZ babies were put up for adoption often secretly, and parents were not told. Even within my own family it occurred twice once it was done secretly and once (several years later) the next child was welcomed openly into my family by both my parents, though when they found out about the “secret adoptee” they welcomed that child as well.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  7. mara (785 comments) says:

    tvb, at least the babies were put up for adoption. Not assulted and put in rubbish bins to die. The woman in question here is 29 and reportedly had another child. How far should we bend over accommodating other cultures in NZ? What if another cultural good idea, say mutilating female genitals in NZ, was similarly overlooked due to fear of offending backward cultural differences? This woman is now remanded in custody awaiting trial. Bloody good start. The Mangere MP would do better to harden up and stop excusing primitive behaviours, at least in NZ.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote