Sex, choice and control: the reality of family planning for women and children today
The UK government has rightly taken a stand, recognising that women’s ability to control when and = whether they have children is fundamental to the achievement of all the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), particularly those on promoting gender equality and empowering women, reducing child mortality and improving maternal health.
The government’s current approach concentrates on the provisions gap: seeking to improve the supply of contraceptives in developing countries and to reducetheir cost. This work is critical; as is making sure that women and girls are able to choose from a range of contraceptive options that best meet their particular needs. That said, improving supply is only one of the issues that will need to be addressed if the goal of universal access to contraception is to be realised. Many women and girls, even where contraceptives
are available, will be prevented from accessing or using them by a myriad of social barriers caused by gender inequality.