Migrating males and population decline

Sita Yonjan, 21, has a two-year-old daughter, and recently stopped using contraceptives even though she is not planning to have another child. She says she doesn’t need her birth control implant anymore because her husband went away to work in Qatar two months ago.

Yonjan visited a health post in Rayale village of Kavre to remove the birth control implant that she had inserted last year. The tiny device prevents births for five years, and does not need to be removed even when users abstain from intercourse. But many Nepali men want their wives to stop using contraceptives when they leave for overseas work.

“My husband thinks I could sleep with anyone if I use contraceptives in his absence,” Yonjan frankly admits.

An estimated four million Nepali men of reproductive age work abroad, and their wives back home generally see no need for contraceptive implants, preferring to use short-term methods like condoms, pills and injectables when their husbands come home on leave. Like Yonjan, those using IUDs and implants remove them as soon as their husbands go away again.

Demographers say this explains the riddle about why Nepal’s fertility rate has been going down despite contraceptive prevalence rate remaining low.

When Nepal conducted its first-ever nationwide health survey in 1996, only 26% women were using modern contraceptives. Within ten years, it had nearly doubled to 44%, but has leveled off since. The contraceptive prevalence rate actually declined to 43% in 2016, when the last National Demographic Health Survey (NDHS) was conducted. Even so, the fertility rate that measures the average number of children per couple has been going down — from 4.6 in 1996 to 3.1 in 2006 and 2.3 in 2016 (see graphs, overleaf).

Demographers were initially puzzled by the drop in the fertility rate despite contraceptive use rate flatlining. But an analysis in 2013 suggested a correlation between male outmigration and contraceptive use. Another analysis is now underway, which will probably confirm the impact out-migration of men may be having on contraceptive use and fertility rate.

“If we consider only women who are married and living with husbands, we find a high contraceptive prevalence rate,” explains Sharad Pathak, a demographer at the government’s Family Health Division. “This rate is low only because lots of women generally do not need contraceptives when their husbands are away.”

However, experts warn that Nepal’s declining fertility rate may not mean that population growth will reach replacement level — one in every four married women still have an unmet need for family planning. A third of young married women aged 15-19 do not use contraceptives, making them more vulnerable to unintended pregnancies and unsafe abortion.

Kristine Blokhus at the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) says Nepali women are aware of the benefits of having fewer babies, but face barriers in accessing contraceptives: “Health facilities often run out of contraceptive stocks, and there are not enough trained health workers to provide long-term contraceptives like implants and IUD.”

A 2016 UNFPA assessment showed most health posts provide only condoms, pills and injectables because of the lack of trained staff. Only one third of the facilities provide all five types of modern contraceptives including implants and IUDS. In most villages, women have to choose between oral pills or Depo-Provera, which they cannot use if there are side effects. Male or female sterilisation is available occasionally, and most women complain their husbands do not want to use condoms.

With rising female literacy, the number of women opting for traditional family planning like withdrawal and the rhythm method instead of modern contraceptives is also going up. In 1996, only 3% of married women used such natural methods, now it is 10%. However, the NDHS 2016 showed that 62% women using the rhythm method to avoid pregnancy did not have an accurate knowledge about the ovulation cycle.

Nepal’s target is to increase its contraceptive prevalence rate to 52% by 2020, but it may not meet that goal because of male migration, the preference for natural methods, and family planning programs being scaled back due to a drop in U.S. funding after the gag rule under President Trump. The United States has traditionally been the main supporter of family planning projects in Nepal, through organisations like Marie Stopes International that provide abortion services.

Beth Schlachter, Director of Family Planning 2020, who recently visited Kathmandu to take stock of Nepal’s progress, says: “The US gag rule might affect Nepal’s family planning programs if organisations delivering safe abortion services here do not find other resources to supply contraceptives.”

Since Nepal is poised to become an ‘aging’ society by 2030 and an ‘aged one’ by 2050, there is an even greater need to scale up family planning. For the country to reduce its dependency ratio and reap the demographic dividend, many more women must have easier access to a much wider range of contraceptives.

The mix matters

When Nepal launched its first population control campaign in the late 1960s, its population was only 13 million, it was growing at 3% per year because the fertility rate was nearly 6 children per couple. The only contraceptive choice women had then was to get their partners to use condoms. Most men did not like using them, and women did not have any control over reproductive health. The pill could have given women freedom to limit or space births, but they were scared of its side effects.

Later, injectables like Depo-Provera and IUDs were introduced and today the government provides five types of contraceptives for free, and conducts health camps offering permanent family planning methods like male as well female sterilisation. But many other contraceptives like emergency pills and female condoms are available only in private clinics, and most rural women cannot use them even if they want to.

Beth Schlachter, Director of Family Planning 2020, says Nepal needs to provide a much wider mix of contraceptives in order to protect women from unintended pregnancies, unsafe abortions and maternal deaths: “What a 15-year-old girl needs might be different from what a 24-year-old mother of two children needs,” she says. “If we try to address all of them with just one or two methods, we will not be very successful.”

Marie Stopes International is preparing a pilot program to test the acceptability of a new type of Depo-Provera called Sayana Press which can be injected at home and would suit women who do not like to visit health posts every three months for their Depo-Provera.

Young Family Planning Champions Selected to Help Guide FP2020 Partnership

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Youth representatives from Asia and Africa will hold the partnership accountable to fulfilling its promises to the largest generation of young people in history

[MARCH 1, 2018, WASHINGTON, DC] Today, two outstanding young people join Family Planning 2020’s (FP2020) Reference Group—made up of global leaders devoted to reaching women and girls with lifesaving modern contraception—to serve as a critical link between FP2020 and the youth networks working on behalf of their peers around the world. They were chosen from more than 250 of people under 30 worldwide who applied for the two positions.

Manasa_crop_bwManasa Priya Vasudevan of India is a program manager for the New Delhi-based YP Foundation, a youth-run and youth-led organization that supports and fosters young leaders working to advance the rights of young women and girls. She focuses on programming that moves the needle on sexual and reproductive health and rights for young people, and delivers comprehensive sexuality education to marginalized youth.

“In my own personal and professional experience, I have noticed that growing up, young people—especially adolescent girls and unmarried young women—have limited access to the services they need to survive and to thrive,” explained Vasudevan. “This is not acceptable—and I look forward to joining and contributing to this group of leaders dedicated to righting that wrong.”

Mbencho Andrew MillanMbencho Andrew Millan of Cameroon joins the Reference Group with years of experience as dynamic advocate for heath and family planning in his community and on the global stage. He is the founder and Executive Director of Youth Health International, an organization that works with young people and policymakers to remove barriers to accessing quality healthcare for young people. He was named one of 2017’s 120 Under 40, which celebrates the next generation of family planning leaders.

“I strongly believe that whoever you are, wherever you live, all the decisions you make about your own body should be yours,” said Millian. “As a member of the Reference Group and as a young advocate for family planning, I will use my voice to help our generation achieve that right.”

Both young people embody a deep and abiding passion for bringing quality, rights-based sexual and reproductive health services to their friends, family, peers, and community. Together, Manasa and Andrew will fill the Youth Seat that Margaret Bolaji of Nigeria held since early 2016. Margaret’s leadership helped build a link between FP2020 and youth networks in the family planning community—a critical mandate she passes on to her successors.

“We cannot leave young people out of the conversation on family planning,” said Beth Schlachter, Executive Director of FP2020. “I have no doubt that Manasa and Andrew will build on Margaret’s legacy of tenacity and ferocious advocacy on behalf of young people—it is our responsibility to include them, to listen, and to act on what they say.”

Working with young people to expand access to rights-based family planning is a pillar of FP2020’s vision and values. The past twelve months have seen several milestones for engagement and partnership with youth as the community looks to 2020 and beyond. Nearly every country commitment at the landmark Family Planning Summit in July 2017 included a focus on meeting the needs of adolescents and youth. At the same time, the family planning community launched several “Global Goods” that hone in on critical gaps for meeting the needs of young people. This year, FP2020 welcomed the first-ever commitments from five youth-led organizations, expanding and deepening the role of young people in the partnership.  

“We are delighted and honored to welcome Manasa and Andrew to the Reference Group,” said Dr. Natalia Kanem, Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund and co-chair of the FP2020 Reference Group.

Fellow Reference group co-chair Dr. Chris Elias, President of Global Development at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, added: “Manasa and Andrew are already champions for family planning in their home countries. We look forward to their guidance and ideas as FP2020 strives for deeper, stronger ties between the global family planning community and the young people who will lead that community in just a few years’ time.”

Vasudevan and Millan will join their first in-person Reference Group meeting with the full cohort of FP2020 leadership in July 2018.

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Deux jeunes champions de la planification familiale choisis pour contribuer à définir l’orientation du Partenariat FP2020

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Désignés pour représenter la jeunesse, les deux candidats issus d’Asie et d’Afrique veilleront à ce que le partenariat tienne ses promesses en faveur de la génération de jeunes la plus importante de l’histoire

[LE 1 MARS 2018, WASHINGTON, DC] Aujourd’hui, deux jeunes remarquables viennent grossir les rangs du Groupe de référence de Family Planning 2020 (FP2020) — composé de chefs de file mondiaux œuvrant en faveur de l’accès des femmes et des filles à des méthodes de contraception modernes et vitales ; ils feront fonction de lien essentiel entre FP2020 et les réseaux de jeunes travaillant au nom de leurs pairs à travers le monde. Leur profil a été retenu parmi plus de 250 candidats de moins de 30 ans issus des quatre coins du globe, qui briguaient eux aussi l’un de ces deux postes.

Manasa_crop_bwManasa Priya Vasudevan (Inde) est chargée de programmes pour la YP Foundation à New Delhi, une organisation dirigée par des jeunes qui soutient et encourage les initiatives de jeunes chefs de file visant à faire progresser les droits des jeunes femmes et des filles. Les programmes dont elle a la responsabilité mettent l’accent sur la santé sexuelle et reproductive et sur les droits des jeunes, et proposent une éducation complète à la sexualité au profit des jeunes marginalisés.

« A travers mon expérience personnelle et professionnelle, j’ai remarqué qu’en grandissant, les jeunes — notamment les adolescentes et les jeunes femmes non mariées — n’accèdent que de façon limitée aux services dont elles ont besoin pour survivre et s’épanouir, » a expliqué Manasa. « C’est tout bonnement inacceptable — et j’ai hâte de rejoindre et de contribuer à ce groupe dont l’action est vouée à redresser ce tort. »

Mbencho Andrew MillanMbencho Andrew Millan (Cameroun) rejoint lui aussi le Groupe de référence auquel il apportera ses années d’expérience en tant que militant actif pour la santé et la planification familiale au sein de sa communauté et sur la scène mondiale. Il est le fondateur et directeur exécutif de l’organisation Youth Health International, qui œuvre main dans la main avec les jeunes et les décideurs politiques en vue d’éliminer les obstacles entravant l’accès à des services de santé de qualité. En 2017, il a été nommé parmi les chefs de file élus au titre de l’initiative 120 Under 40, qui consacre la prochaine génération de leaders de la planification familiale.

« Je crois fermement que qui que vous soyez, où que vous viviez, vous devez être seul maître de toutes les décisions concernant votre propre corps, » a déclaré Andrew. « En tant que membre du Groupe de référence et jeune militant en faveur de la planification familiale, je vais utiliser ma voix pour aider notre génération à concrétiser ce droit. »

Profondément passionnés, ces deux jeunes gens ont pour ambition l’accès à des services de santé sexuelle et reproductive de qualité, fondés sur les droits, dont pourront profiter leurs amis, les membres de leur famille, leurs pairs et toute la collectivité. Ensemble, Manasa et Andrew occuperont le siège des Jeunes détenu par Margaret Bolaji (Nigeria) depuis début 2016. À travers son leadership, Margaret a contribué à l’établissement d’un lien entre FP2020 et des réseaux de jeunes au sein de la communauté de la planification familiale — un mandat crucial qu’elle transmet à ses successeurs.

« Nous ne pouvons pas laisser les jeunes à l’écart des discussions menées autour de la planification familiale, » a déclaré Beth Schlachter, Directrice exécutive de FP2020. « Je suis convaincue que Manasa et Andrew sauront s’appuyer sur l’héritage de Margaret en termes de ténacité et de plaidoyer acharné en faveur des jeunes — il est de notre responsabilité de les intégrer, de les écouter et de traduire leurs paroles en actes. »

La coopération avec les jeunes en vue d’élargir l’accès à la planification familiale fondée sur les droits est un pilier de la vision et des valeurs de FP2020. Depuis un an, nous avons pu assister à plusieurs réalisations importantes en matière de collaboration et de partenariat avec les jeunes, alors que la communauté a les yeux tournés vers 2020 et au-delà. La quasi-totalité des engagements pris par les pays à l’occasion de l’historique Sommet de la planification familiale tenu en juillet 2017 comportaient un objectif de satisfaction des besoins des adolescents et des jeunes. Le sommet était aussi l’occasion pour la communauté de la planification familiale d’annoncer plusieurs initiatives « Global Goods », centrées sur les besoins essentiels non couverts des jeunes. Cette année, FP2020 s’est félicitée des tous premiers engagements pris par cinq organisations dirigées par des jeunes, étoffant encore davantage le rôle des jeunes au sein du partenariat. 

« Nous sommes ravis et honorés d’accueillir Manasa et Andrew au sein du Groupe de référence, » a déclaré le Dr Natalia Kanem, Directrice exécutive du Fonds des Nations Unies pour la population et co-présidente du Groupe de référence de FP2020.

Le Dr Chris Elias, Président du Programme de développement mondial de la Fondation Bill et Melinda Gates et co-président du Groupe de référence a ajouté « Manasa et Andrew sont déjà des champions de la planification familiale dans leur pays. Nous attendons avec intérêt les orientations et les idées qu’ils auront à proposer dans le cadre des efforts que FP2020 déploie afin d’approfondir et de renforcer les liens entre la communauté mondiale de la planification familiale et les jeunes qui seront à la tête de cette communauté d’ici quelques années. »

Vasudevan et Millan assisteront à leur première réunion du Groupe de référence en personne en juillet 2018, aux côtés de l’ensemble des dirigeants de FP2020.

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Make long-acting contraceptives available to Rohingya women: FP 2020 chief to Bangladesh

The executive director of the FP 2020, Beth Schlachter, has called upon the Bangladesh government to make all family planning methods available to the Rohingya women so that they can choose.

The government is now providing short-acting methods such as condoms, pills and injectables. The long-acting reversible contraceptives include injections, intrauterine devices (IUDs) and subdermal contraceptive implants that provide effective contraception for a certain period until removal.

“I encouraged the government to open up the longer-acting methods,” Schlachter told bdnews24.com in an interview on Monday after her meeting with the government officials in Dhaka.

She said these women deserve the same kind of choice that any women anywhere in the world should have.

But she said the removal of those methods must be included in their return talks to Myanmar so that they can remove when they want.

“We need to make sure that if Rohingya women return, the removal services would be available where they move to,” she said, adding that family planning is entirely voluntary and rights-based approach.

She appreciated the government’s efforts to help the Rohingya people from giving shelter to ensuring basic needs and said many of the women heard about family planning services first from Bangladesh.

FP 2020 or Family Planning 2020 is a global community of partners working together to advance rights-based family planning.

UNFPA holds briefing on family planning

A briefing on Family Planning 2020 and Nepal’s commitment to family planning progress was conducted in Kathmandu today.

Beth Schlachter, the executive director of FP2020 and Lubna Baqi, country representative of United Nations Population Fund highlighted the need of family planning in the country. They also highlighted the need to provide counselling to married couple about family planning and use of contraceptives during the event.

Schlachter and her team is in the country to discuss the progress made so far in family planning and also to discuss how the three tiers of government in the country will prioritise the issues related with family planning.

“We are here to discuss the mechanism to support the government of Nepal and other stakeholders on strategic interventions, analysis and support for addressing concerns related to the stagnation of contraceptive prevalence rate, high teenage pregnancy, early marriages, high migration and related issues and their impact on family planning,” said Schlachter.

“Nepal has number of cases of early marriages and at times women do not have their say in making decisions to have children. We need to reach such population to ensure that couples and individuals are able to plan their families responsibly, use contraceptive methods of their choice and have access to reproductive health information and services,” said Baqi.

“We can share information related to global health and try to know country partners and give information to other people and organisation working in the field of family planning,” said Schlachter.

Global Contraceptive Use Rising but More Progress Needed to Reach Target

By July 2017, more than 309 million women and girls were using modern contraception in 69 focus countries identified by Family Planning 2020 (FP2020), a movement created in 2012 by four core partners, 38.8 million more than in 2012.

This information came out in FP2020’s annual report “The Way Ahead, 2016-2017,” released in December. It reported that use of modern contraception in these 69 countries from July 2016-July 2017 prevented 84 million unintended pregnancies, 26 million unsafe abortions and 125,000 maternal deaths. This is all great news.

It came with some less-than-great news. FP 2020 has set the goal of reaching 120 million new users in the eight years between 2012 and 2020 – or 15 million every year. By that measure, we should have reached 75 million new users by mid-2017, and 38.8 million is only 52% of that.

Clearly, we have a lot more work to do to reach the 120 million target.

One of the things that can help us make more progress towards is new and renewed commitments. At the 2017 Family Planning Summit in London, 75 commitment-makers stepped forward with commitments – including 25 partners making commitments for the first time.

Beth Schlachter, executive director of FP2020, says the 120 million target is still relevant, though unlikely to be met by 2020. But she said that “we are an estimated 30 percent over the progress level that would have happened had there not been the FP2020 partnership.”

Schlachter says the S-Curve pattern of modern contraceptive growth presented in the report is a good way to spot opportunities for future growth. The S-Curve divides the 69 countries between 15 countries with “high prevalence and growth slowing and leveling off,” 13 countries with “low prevalence and slow growth” and 41 countries where rapid growth can occur. It is in these 41 countries – half of which are in sub-Saharan Africa – where rapid growth is likely to occur which can propel us to the 120 million target.

But the international family planning community also faces new challenges.

A Kaiser Family Foundation report released in December found that donor government funding for family planning fell in 2016 for the second year in a row, dropping from $1.34 billion in 2015 to $1.19 billion in 2016. Much of this decrease was due to exchange rate fluctuations and the timing of donor disbursements but 22 percent of it came from actual cuts in funding from donor countries including the U.S. and the U.K., the two largest donors.

Related challenges have come from the Trump Administration —the re-imposition of the Global Gag Rule, or the Mexico City Policy, trying to cut U.S. funding for family planning to zero and cuts in support for the U.N. Population Fund (UNFPA).

However, congressional appropriators ignored Trump’s request to zero out international family planning and reproductive health (FP/RH) programs in his proposed Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 budget request and so the U.S. government is still operating at FY 2017 levels requested by the Obama Administration and signed by the Trump Administration, according to Craig Lasher, senior fellow at Population Action International. The House of Representatives has appropriated $461 million and the Senate $622.5 million for FP/RH for FY 2018 but those amounts will have to be reconciled in a final budget bill (the FY 2017 appropriated level for FP/RH was $607.5 million).

In the meantime, says Lasher, there have been a growing number of reports of funding shortfalls at the field level in some countries across health and development sectors.

The reinstatement and expansion of the Global Gag Rule, which occurred on Jan. 23, 2017, is starting to make its impact known. One organization that has been particularly hard hit is Marie Stopes International, which estimates that 2 million women it would otherwise have served will be denied sexual and reproductive health services as a result of the order. Poor communities in Madagascar, Zimbabwe and Uganda are already feeling the effects of the expanded policy. The International Planned Parenthood Federation says that it stands to lose $100 million and that its member organizations are feeling the impact in 29 countries.

The significant contribution of social marketing should also be highlighted. In 2017, the social marketing organization DKT International released its annual report on contraceptive social marketing statistics showing that 97 contraceptive social marketing programs in 59 countries delivered 74.9 million couple years of protection (CYPs) in 2016. This is 9.4 million CYPs more than the 65.5 million CYPs generated in 2012, when FP2020 was launched.

DKT President & CEO Chris Purdy says that the focus should be on stimulating demand for modern contraception. “I continue to believe that the emphasis needs to be on education and behavior change,” he said. “The supply chain will rise to meet demand, but investments to increase uptake among women and men are needed.”

Schlachter says the key to reaching 120 million is better alignment of resources and working together to shape ambitious and achievable programs at the country level and getting partners to unite behind them.

This FP2020 press release summarizes the report.

October 10-11, 2017 Meeting Reports for the CSO and Youth meetings held prior the FP2020 Reference Group Meeting are now available.

Reports for the CSO and Youth meetings held prior the FP2020 Reference Group Meeting are now available.

FP2020 organized a CSO meeting in collaboration with the Association for the Advancement of Family Planning (AAFP) on October 11, 2017, at the Sheraton Abuja Hotel, Nigeria. The FP2020 –AAFP CSO meeting served as a platform for the exchange of ideas around key issues in family planning in Nigeria and provided an opportunity for CSOs to reflect on their work in accelerating the momentum towards universal access to family planning information, services, and supplies.

The October 2017 FP2020 Reference Group meeting in Nigeria included a Youth Forum co-hosted by youth-led organizations. Margaret Bolaji, the Reference Group Youth Seat member, along with Jennifer Amadi of the African Youth Initiative on Population Health and Development, and other SRHR youth champions in-country, organized a full day workshop focused on building a collective advocacy strategy. The FP2020 Reference Group Youth Meeting was held on October 10, 2017 at the Sheraton Hotel in Abuja. About 30 young participants, drawn from over 10 youth-led organizations across the six geo-political zones in Nigeria, were in attendance (see participants’ list in the annex).

New Report on Global Family Planning Charts Increase in Voluntary Use of Contraceptives by Women and Girls in the World’s Poorest Countries

Family Planning 2020’s (FP2020) annual progress report, launched today, charts progress in 2017 towards enabling 120 million more women and girls in the world’s poorest countries to use modern contraceptives by the year 2020. As of July 2017, more than 309 million women and girls in the 69 FP2020 focus countries are using a modern method of contraception. This is 38.8 million more than were using contraceptives in 2012 when FP2020 was launched. According to the new report, the use of modern contraception in FP2020 focus countries from July 2016–July 2017 prevented 84 million unintended pregnancies, 26 million unsafe abortions, and 125,000 maternal deaths.

FP2020: The Way Ahead reveals that Africa accounts for almost half of the additional users of contraception. As of July 2017, 16 million additional women and girls were using a modern method of contraception in the FP2020 countries in Africa as compared to 2012. In Eastern and Southern Africa, unmet need for modern methods has dropped by more than 3 percentage points since 2012 – by far the largest change of any FP2020 region.

More than half of the girls and women who are considered “additional users” are in Asia: 21.9 million. Asia includes four of the five most populous FP2020 countries – India, Indonesia, Pakistan, and Bangladesh – and progress in these countries has a large influence on the total number of additional users. Because modern contraceptive use rates are already higher in Asia, the rate of contraceptive use is growing more slowly than in Africa. In 2017, it is estimated that 38% of all women of reproductive age in Asia are using a modern method.

“FP2020 is a country-led movement to empower women and girls by investing in rights-based family planning. We believe that every woman and girl must be empowered to shape her own life,” explains Beth Schlachter, Executive Director of FP2020. “Family planning is both a basic right and a life-changing, transformational health service with the potential to accelerate progress across all our development goals.”

Over the past five years, FP2020 has pioneered a country-led, globally-backed development partnership that brings together governments, policymakers, program implementers, service providers, and donors to ensure that health systems in participating countries are becoming better aligned to meet the needs of an ever-increasing number of women and girls. The partnership, which embraces a shared responsibility for creating a world where all women and girls can freely determine their own futures by deciding whether and when to have children, and what size family is best in their particular circumstances, continues to expand year by year.

“The family planning community is united, resilient, and ready to meet the future,” says Dr. Natalia Kanem, Executive Director of UNFPA and Co-Chair of the FP2020 Reference Group. “There may be uncertainties on the horizon, but our community’s dedication to women and girls is stronger than ever.”

This was evident at the 2017 Family Planning Summit in July, when a total of 74 commitment-makers stepped forward with new and renewed commitments to fund, expand, and support rights-based family planning – including 25 new partners making FP2020 commitments for the first time. With new commitments this year from Chad, Haiti, and South Sudan, the FP2020 partnership now includes 41 of its 69 countries.

Shifting donor priorities in 2017, including in the U.S., created an uncertain environment for family planning and broader health programs in developing countries around the world. “For all of us who believe that rights-based family planning is fundamental to achieving a healthier, more prosperous, just and equitable world, these are uncertain times,” said Schlachter.

FP2020: The Way Ahead contains a much-anticipated section on measuring progress through the monitoring of family planning data across the 69 countries. This section is designed to help family planning stakeholders assess progress at the global, regional, country and even local levels. Many countries rely heavily on this data as they develop and refine their efforts to advance rights-based family planning programs.

The report reveals that injectables are the most common contraceptive method in use in 28 of the focus countries, followed by pills in 16 countries, condoms in 9 countries, and IUDs in eight countries. Implants and injectables are continuing to increase in prevalence.

Rights-based family planning programs have a greater ripple effect than almost any other development investment, from saving lives and improving health to strengthening economies, transforming societies, and lifting entire countries out of poverty.

The report shows that the way ahead is charted and that FP2020 is taking advantage of all opportunities. “We’re witnessing significant growth in access to contraceptives, supported by strong engagement from governments and civil society,” said Dr. Chris Elias, President of Global Development at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Co-Chair of the FP2020 Reference Group. “The report paints a clear picture of where we’re succeeding and where we need action. Young women are counting on leaders to deliver because access to contraceptives helps millions of women and girls lead healthy, productive lives.”  

If FP2020 is to meet its ambitious goals, the report concludes, then commitment-makers must honor their promises; country governments must do more to provide health care for their citizens; and those citizens must continue to hold public officials to account.

For more information, contact Elise Walter, Ewalter@familyplanning2020.org or +202.615.3601   

 

 

Family Planning 2020 (FP2020) is a global partnership that supports the rights of women and girls to decide, freely, and for themselves, whether, when, and how many children they want to have.

Opinion: How Cross-Sector Collaborations Can Accelerate Progress Toward Gender Equality

It is increasingly acknowledged that the global gender gap is severe, with major negative economic and social consequences, and that accelerating progress toward gender parity has enormous benefits. Yet progress has been slow. One answer is collaborations — partnerships for parity — but they have to be put together carefully if they are to be effective.

Research by the McKinsey Global Institute found that $12 trillion could be added to global GDP growth each year to 2025 if all countries were to match the progress toward gender parity of the country in their region with the most rapid improvement. This is equivalent to the current GDPs of Japan, Germany, and the United Kingdom combined.

Making progress in bridging pervasive gender gaps and achieving this potential for inclusive growth will require changing our current approach. Take progress toward equality for women in the workplace: on the current trajectory, the World Economic Forum reckons it will take 81 years to close the gap completely. Similarly, MGI notes that the average maternal mortality rate fell from 276 deaths per 100,000 live births in 1995 to 135 in 2013; at this rate of decline, the rate will still be as high as 84 deaths in 2025.

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