In societies such as ours, where birth control has become a divisive hot button for controversy as Family Planning is increasingly being systematically and continuously portrayed as solely a Pro Choice or Pro Life issue in political rhetoric, access to contraception has given women the freedom to pursue their dreams. This freedom gives us the opportunity to participate fully in all aspects of life, from education…to work…to life partnerships…to motherhood.
My mother’s career and opportunities profoundly affected my life in that I was raised in a family where a woman’s role and her rights to the same opportunities as the males in the household were never questioned. The role she played professionally and privately provided the foundation for my own expectations of what I could achieve. I will continue to pass on this intergenerational perspective to my son who will grow up expecting the same from women as he would from himself and sharing experiences with them in which he views them as equals.
The story that the following links will tell you is that poverty is overwhelmingly and adversely linked to women’s lack of empowerment. What also becomes clear is that ensuring women’s reproductive rights serve as a cornerstone to reversing maternal and infant mortality, child & sex trafficking as well as structural and intergenerational poverty. Simply put- if women and girls are given this basic right, they will be able to break the cycles of educational and employment impoverishment as well as physical enslavement internationally and here at home.
Melinda Gates’ Response to Contraception Program Controversy: http://www.cnn.com/2012/07/09/opinion/gates-contraception-families/index.html
UN Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health UN Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health
United Nations Population Fund Annual Report UNFPA 2011 Annual Report
An important upcoming conference on December 4th-5th in London: http://www.trustwomenconf.com/
… and a few more important links to organizations effecting change:
Every Woman Every Child Global Movement: http://everywomaneverychild.org/
United Nations Population Fund link: https://www.unfpa.org/public/home/about
Half the Sky: http://www.halftheskymovement.org/
UN Women: http://www.unwomen.org/
UN Millennium Campaign: http://www.endpoverty2015.org/
International Women’s Health Coalition (IWHC): http://www.iwhc.org/
Apne Aap: http://apneaap.org/index.php
Girl Up (UN program uniting girls worldwide): http://girlup.org/