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Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Family Planning: Girl Power Saves Lives

What would your life be like if you weren’t able to make your own decisions? Like getting married or  giving birth. Contraception has given many women* the power to make this decision and take control of their bodies. However, this is not the case for many others around the world, imagine being in that position.

How family planning saves children's lives:

  • When adolescent girls have the power to delay pregnancy until their bodies are ready, fewer children die.
  • When women can choose to leave a healthy space between their pregnancies, their babies are better nourished, and fewer children die.
  • And when more children survive, women have fewer children and families become smaller.
  • Children get to grow up in a world where there’s more to go around.
  • Contraception and the expert advice and care provided by health workers are crucial to creating this virtuous circle.
  • But above all, what’s needed is a profound shift that sees women educated and empowered to make the right decisions for themselves and their children.
David Cameron will be hosting The Family Planning Summit in London on July 11th, and as well as funding increased access to contraception, the #givegirlspower campaign by Save the Children wants world leaders to agree to the following commitments:
  • Access to contraception: all women, everywhere, must be able to access safe and reliable contraception.
  • Empowerment: women everywhere must have the power to plan their families; they must have rights and protection enshrined in law. This must include equal access to education, including sex education, to ensure contraception is used effectively.
Contraception is a feminist issue, and in light of what is happening around the world in terms of access to family planing and safe abortions, I think its fair to say that this particular battle has yet to be won. The charity Plan is also calling for the need for women & girls to have more choices over their future, fight forced marriage & stay in school. Please help raise awareness and support organisations like Plan and Save the Children by spreading this message as far as possible. If you have Twitter, please follow the #givegirlspower hashtag to see how the progress of the the campaign. 


*Apologies for an under-recognition of non-binary genders in this statement.

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