London, UK (July 9, 2012) – As delegates convene July 11 for the London Summit on Family Planning, CARE International, one of the world’s largest humanitarian aid organizations, offers Top 10 Tips on how to meet the family planning needs of millions of women and men in the world’s poorest countries by 2020.
Improving sexual and reproductive health, and specifically addressing the unmet need for family planning and resulting high rates of unintended pregnancy, is central to CARE’s commitment to gender equality and reducing poverty and social injustice. Family planning has been proven to save lives and promote development.
“Millions of women, girls and couples are not able to choose if and when they have children, despite evidence that family planning is an effective and cost-efficient strategy for fighting poverty,” says Christine Galavotti, CARE’s director of sexual, reproductive and maternal health who will attend the Summit. “CARE is proud to participate in the London Summit on Family Planning that is promoting action on this critical development issue.”
In its more than 50 years of experience working on sexual, reproductive and health issues and current work in more than 30 countries, CARE has learned that any solution must empower women, address pervasive social and cultural norms as well as strengthen systems of governance and accountability. Solutions must also address the sexual and reproductive health of women in emergencies and conflict settings, where women and girls face increased risk of sexual violence and unwanted pregnancies due to the lack of access to contraceptives.
In Pakistan, for example, CARE is working with women such as 21-year-old Nazeeranz, who after five kids during six years of marriage was unable to work outside of the home. After using contraceptives to space pregnancies, she was able to get a job. “I am a helping hand to my family and now our life is getting better,” she says.
At the Family Planning Summit, CARE is calling on delegates to strengthen their financial and political commitments to improving family planning and reproductive health coverage, quality and equity for millions of women and men worldwide.
“The Family Planning Summit is just the beginning,” says Galavotti. “We look forward to working to make reproductive rights a reality for all.”
To learn more and hear about how CARE is already making this work, read CARE International’s report on family planning: Women’s Lives, Women’s Voices: Empowering women to ensure family planning coverage, quality and equity.