Family planning is a good start
July 12th 2012
Commented Simon Ross, chief executive Population Matters, “The outcome of the London Summit on Family Planning, at which billions of dollars were pledged to provide 120 million women in the world’s poorest countries with access to contraception, is a good first step. Donor and recipient countries must now also work together to address cultural barriers to their use, including conservative attitudes to family planning and misconception about the safety of modern contraceptive methods.
Later first births, greater birth spacing and smaller families benefit the individual, their community and society, through improved health, reduced childcare costs and the greater ability of women to take remunerated employment. This opportunity should be made manifest through ensuring access for women to education and employment.
Smaller families also reduce demand on services, resources and the local environment. This is particularly important now as rising population numbers, increased consumption and climate change put ever greater pressure on limited resources. Donor and recipient countries should work together to ensure that the benefits to society and households available from having smaller families are promoted to both women and men in the media and by political and community leaders.”
Simon Ross further commented, “We should also be clear that, while this initiative should help reduce the relatively high birth rates in some of of the poorest countries, all countries, particularly the wealthiest ones, have a responsibility to promote responsible and sustainable consumption and population patterns.”