As identified by the Overseas Development Institute (ODI), certain strategies must be carried out to improve and expand access to contraception worldwide.
First of all, socio-cultural shifts must take place to address gender stereotypes and inequities. This will help give women and girls a voice in their relationships as well as eliminate practices such as child marriage and dowry, that often prevent contraceptive access. We can all do our part by being champions for women’s rights in our community.
Secondly, education for women and girls must become more of a priority. The standard schooling must also include age appropriate information about their sexuality along with methods of contraception and family planning. This benefits not only their access to contraceptive services, but also improves their employability, which allows them to be seen beyond their capacity for reproduction and empowers them with financial autonomy.
Finally, in order for these strategies to work, they must have both governmental and legal protection de jure and de facto (in law and in practice). In addition, outside organisations must be able to help, where needed, in providing education and family planning services in order to implement real change.
The conversation continues with you. This blog series is just a beginning, arming you with some knowledge about the need for contraception. It is all of our responsibility to keep the conversation going, and bring about real change. Unsure what your country’s use of contraception is? Check it out here at this World Health Organisation database.
If you think more needs to be done, consider writing to your local representative – because we know country’s domestic policies impact women’s access to contraceptives all around the world.
Finally, we have learnt that funding is an incredibly vital aspect for NGOs in order to achieve the goal of Family Planning For All. Please visit these websites to learn more about what these international organisations do, and consider donating:
- Pathfinder International: http://www.pathfinder.org/
- Marie Stopes International: https://www.mariestopes.org.au/
- International Planned Parenthood Federation: http://www.ippf.org/
- Woman Care Global: