By: Smita Gaith, Women Deliver
Today, TedxChange and Melinda Gates launched the No Controversy website, in the hopes that people around the world will share their stories, read about the experiences of others, and become educated on the importance of contraception and family planning. The launch, which is available on Livestream, comes three months ahead of the July 11 Family Planning Summit that will take place in London. The Summit, supported by the Department for International Development (DFID), The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and other partners, seeks to generate political commitment and greater resources to meet the family planning needs of women in some of the least wealthy countries by 2020.
Before asking users “How have contraceptives changed your life?” the website offers some startling statistics and a strong argument for contraception and family planning as a personal choice and a rights issue:
“More than 200 million people don’t have the power to make basic decisions about childbearing because they can’t access contraceptives. Everyone should be empowered to decide if and when they want to have a child. […]Contraception and planning when to have a child is a personal issue for every family. In many places, it can be awkward when the personal becomes political. And in others, it’s the politicians who are courting controversy.
The fact is that access to contraception—or the lack of it—has an impact on everyone. Empowering women and men to decide when they have a child improves their lives, gives their children greater opportunity, and strengthens communities: children can complete school, mothers can keep working, and families can escape poverty. The ability for parents to invest in the health and education of their family builds stronger communities and boosts economic growth.
There is no controversy in raising your voice for equal access.”
Website visitors are offered an opportunity to share an experience on how having, or not having, contraceptive access impacted their lives. There is also an opportunity to share a photo, and to share contributions on Facebook and Twitter. Those who decide to share can also choose to do so anonymously. Scrolling in the background are short excerpts from around the world, including countries like Bolivia, Austria, Kenya, and the United Kingdom.
If you don’t have a story you want to share, you can participate by choosing the “Learn More” option, where you can read and share facts on the importance of contraception and learn more about global coalition partners.
• Learn more about the project and share some facts or experiences on the website.
• Check out the livestream of the launch: