Women In India Need Better Access To Contraception: UN Study

Chinese Women Have Better Family Planning Access Than Indian Ones

Due to a lack of access to information or services, or a lack of support from partners or communities, an estimated 225 million women globally are not using safe and effective family-planning methods. Most of these women live in 69 of the poorest countries on Earth. And Indian women are behind their Chinese counterparts when it comes to complete access to contraception & sexual rights, says a study by the UN. That Pakistani women are much worse off should not give us a sense of complacency.

Percentage of total demand for family planning satisfied among women aged 15-49 (UN 2015) 

This image shows the percentage of Indian women allowed to make choices pertaining to family planning is between 70-89%. This ratio is much worse in Pakistan which falls in the bracket of 50-69. But India is far worse than China that now sits in league with the developed nations by allowing 90 and above percentage of women the right to family planning.

The latest report published by the World Economic Forum says: In low- and middle-income countries, complications from pregnancy and childbirth are a leading killer of teenage girls. Their babies also face a higher risk of dying than those of older women. Yet adolescents face enormous barriers to accessing reproductive health information and services.

Granting women the right to make decisions pertaining to reproduction comes within the bracket of gender equality. Women in nations where gender equality ratios are better, have more power to make reproductive choices.

Gender equality is not only a fundamental human right, but a necessary foundation for a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world.

More Gender Equality = More Economic Progress

The UN study says: When women and couples can plan their families, women are better enabled to complete their education. (Photo: iStock)

Allow Women A Say In Planning Their Families

When women and couples can plan their families, women are better enabled to complete their education. This in turn strengthens their autonomy within their households and improves their earning power. Each additional year of schooling for girls boosts their employment prospects, increases future earnings by about 10% and reduces infant mortality by up to 10%.

Cumulatively, these benefits contribute to poverty reduction and development.

(With inputs from the World Economic Forum)