Creative Approaches to Addressing the Unmet Need for Contraceptives

By: Jill Sheffield; Originally posted on Maternal Health Task Force

Recently, a new study by the Guttmacher Institute and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) informed the world that while the overall unmet need for contraceptives has declined, in the Global South—where 73% of all women with unmet need live—the number has significantly increased. Read more...


Celebrate Solutions: Iran’s Family Planning Success Story

By: Harshi Hettige, Women Deliver

Iran’s family planning program has been lauded as an ‘Iranian Miracle’ and modeled around the world, including here in the US. It holds the record for the largest and fastest decline in fertility ever. The total fertility rate (TFR) dropped from 6 children per woman in the mid-1980s to 2.1 children per woman in 2000. This greatly exceeded expectations; the TFR in 2000 was less than half of what had been planned for 2011. "It confounded all conventional wisdom that it could happen in one of the world's few Islamic republics," said Jalal Abbasi-Shavazi, a demographer at the University of Tehran. Read more...

Family Planning is Key to a Sustainable World

By: Danielle Nierenberg, Jill Sheffield; Originally posted on Impatient Optimists

In June, at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, or Rio+20, global leaders missed a historic opportunity to put reproductive health and family planning at the center of global sustainability and development.  Today’s London Summit on Family Planning, hosted by the United Kingdom and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, succeeded where the Rio+20 conference fell short, by making clear the inextricable links between women, reproductive health, and poverty reduction. Read more...

UK Family Planning Summit Concludes with $2.6 Billion Pledged

The London Summit on Family Planning, hosted by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in partnership with UNFPA, national governments, donors, civil society organizations, private sector representatives, the research and development community, and many others, was held today. Read more...

New Lancet Series Demonstrates Impact of Family Planning

A new series by the Lancet called Family Planning has been published and released on the eve of the UK Family Planning Summit.

The series reviews evidence of the impact of family planning on population health and the environment. “Family Planning” provides a look at a combination of articles that represent the latest thinking behind the UK Family Planning Summit, demonstrating the negative consequences of an unmet need for access to family planning. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Using Social Media to Bridge Gaps Between Religion and Rights

By: Smita Gaith, Women Deliver

A popular campaign that was conceived, developed, and implemented in Mexico is working to bridge divides between religion and rights using social media. In particular, the campaign works to inform the public debate on the role of the Catholic Church in Mexican society, in regards to Catholic teachings and human rights of women and youth, Church hierarchy and Catholic traditions. Read more...

Bellagio Meeting Recommends Action for Long-Acting, Reversible Contraception

In May 2012, the Population Council, the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO), and the Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition (RHSC) hosted a meeting at the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center to discuss opportunities to increase access to Long Acting Reversible Contraceptions (LARCs) to accelerate progress toward meeting the Millennium Development Goal of universal access to reproductive health services. Participants, including service providers, donor representatives, policymakers, procurement specialists, manufacturers, and public health officials, reached consensus on analysis and several recommendations. Read more...

Parliamentary Launch of Marie Stopes International’s Global Impact Report

Marie Stopes International’s Global Impact Report was launched on June 26 in UK Parliament by Secretary of State for International Development, Andrew Mitchell. The report focuses on family planning in the developing world, including health, social, and economic impact analysis over the last 60 years.

Also discussed in the highlights are the impacts of the global unmet need for family planning, and the nearly 300,000 women who die each year from pregnancy related complications. Despite this, more than 200 million women in developing countries who wish to delay or avoid pregnancy do not have access to contraception. Read more...

Frontline Health Workers Are Key to Meeting Family Planning Needs Worldwide

By: Oying Rimon; Originally posted on Impatient Optimist

Around the world, frontline health workers are often the first link to lifesaving care and supplies, and in some cases they are the only link for families and communities in rural and impoverished areas. This is also where most of the world’s unmet need for family planning resides. More than 200 million women in developing countries want to delay or avoid pregnancy but lack access to modern methods of contraception. Read more...

Save the Children Says Pregnancy Kills or Injures One Million Girls a Year

Originally posted on Save the Children

WESTPORT, Conn. (June 26, 2012) — Pregnancy is the biggest killer of teenage girls worldwide, with one million dying or suffering serious injury, infection or disease due to pregnancy or childbirth every year, Save the Children said today.

In a new report, Every Woman's Right: How family planning saves children's lives, the international humanitarian and development agency highlights the many ways that lives are saved when women can choose the timing and spacing of their pregnancies. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Sexual and Reproductive Health Integration for a “Busy Generation”

By: Smita Gaith, Women Deliver

In 1994, the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) acknowledged that governments should make information and services available to adolescents to increase awareness of adolescent sexual and reproductive health (ASRH), including unwanted pregnancies, sexually transmitted infections, and risks of infertility. According to ICPD, this information should be youth-friendly, and involve multiple stakeholders from diverse sectors, at different levels of government. Read more...

Live from Rio+20, Day Two: “Favelas and Protests”

By: Vicky Markham, Center for Environment and Population (CEP); Originally posted on RH Reality Check

This morning I ventured the opposite direction from Rio Centro where the UN Rio+20 negotiations are taking place, and travelled with colleagues to the Cachoeirinha (I was told it means “waterfall”) Favela in Rio de Janeiro. These shantytowns are quite common in Rio, well over one million strong, located within and around the city limits. This particular one has 37,000 residents. Read more...

Women and Sustainability: What You Want to Know About Rio+20

By: Women Deliver and Worldwatch Institute

Women Deliver is collaborating with the Worldwatch Institute’s Nourishing the Planet project  to highlight the important role of women, youth, and sexual and reproductive health and rights in sustainable development at the upcoming Rio+20 conference.

Rio+20 is a key moment for advocates of reproductive health and rights to ensure that leaders understand and support the central role of reproductive health and voluntary family planning in sustainable development.  Below are some common questions about Rio+20 and the role of women in sustainability. Read more...

222 Million Women Have Unmet Need for Modern Family Planning

A new study by the Guttmacher Institute and UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, finds that the number of women in developing countries who want to avoid pregnancy but are not using modern contraception declined only slightly between 2008 and 2012, from 226 to 222 million. However, in the 69 poorest countries—where 73% of all women with unmet need for modern contraceptives reside—the number actually increased, from 153 to 162 million women. Read more...

Women and Sustainability: Recognizing the Role of Women at Rio+20

By: Danielle Nierenberg, Worldwatch Institute

Women Deliver is collaborating with Worldwatch Institute's Nourising the Planet project to highlight the important role of women, youth, and sexual and reproductive health and rights in sustainable development at the upcoming Rio+20 conference.

From sustainable cities to renewable energy, some of the most crucial areas of development policy remain devoid of any mention or dialogue on the issue of women’s rights. To put these neglected issues on the global agenda, numerous governments, executives, NGOs, and civil society activists will gather next week to represent the voices of the women, youth, and children around the world at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, also known as Rio+20. Read more...

United Nations Adopts Landmark Resolution on Adolescents and Youth

Late Friday, 27 April 2012, at the 45th Session of the United Nations Commission on Population and Development (CPD), member states issued a bold resolution in support of young people’s sexual and reproductive health and human rights.

This victory comes on the heels of a UNICEF report released this week highlighting the challenges that the largest-ever generation of young people face—including HIV/AIDS, violence, and unintended pregnancy—and reaffirms long-standing international agreements including the 1994 United Nations International Conference on Population and Development Programme of Action. Read more...

Op-Ed: Family Planning - a Force for Good Across Africa

By: Melinda Gates, Co-Chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; Originally posted in The Independent (Uganda)

Last year, I visited a mother's group in the Korogocho slum in Nairobi to learn more about family planning in Africa. At the end of our conversation, a woman named Mary Ann told me something I'll never forget. She said she plans her family because she wants to "bring every good thing" to one child before she has another.

That desire to bring every good thing to our children must be universal, because it is also why my husband and I planned our family. We have three children, and we spaced them three years apart so we could give each one the attention they deserved. One billion people around the world use contraception for the very same reason. Read more...

TedxChange asks “How Have Contraceptives Changed Your Life?”

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. Read more...

UN Launches Commission on Life-Saving Commodities for Women and Children

NEW YORK, 23 March 2012 – UNICEF and UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, today launched a high-level commission to improve access to essential but overlooked health supplies that could save the lives of millions of women and children every year.

“Making sure that women and children have the medicines and other supplies they need is critical for our push to achieve the MDGs,” said Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. “The Commission will tackle an overlooked but vital aspect of health systems, and ensure that women and children are protected from preventable causes of death and disease.” Read more...

Woman’s Condom: Expanding Options for Dual Protection

By: Kimberly Whipkey, Global Advocacy Specialist, PATH; Woman's Condom is a winner of the Women Deliver 50

PATHcondom.jpgWomen need access to dual protection and more female-controlled options.

If you’ve been following the discussion around the World Health Organization’s technical guidance on hormonal contraception and HIV, chances are you’ve seen this message emerge. So what female-controlled, dual protection methods are available today—methods that help prevent both pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, including HIV? Read more...

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