Ahead of the London Summit on Family Planning on July 11, philanthropist and activist Melinda Gates recently released this video promoting a woman’s right to access contraceptives. On Impatient Optimists, the blog of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Melinda explains why the issue of family planning is crucial for all women:
The simple answer is that it can mean everything to so many of the women and families I meet. It means the difference between being empowered and feeling powerless. It means the difference between celebrating a daughter’s graduation and watching her drop out of school. It even means the difference between life and death.
Providing family planning information and services to millions of women and girls in the poorest countries in the world gives them the opportunity to determine their own futures, and the best future for their children.
The women and girls I speak with, whether in India or Kenya, tell me they want to be able to plan for their families. They tell me they want what’s best for themselves and their children. They want the right to participate freely and equally in society.
Today, more than 200 million women and girls in developing countries who don’t want to get pregnant lack access to contraceptives, according to the Foundation. Giving women and girls access to family planning tools and information is the easiest way to allow them the ability to determine their own futures.
The London Summit on Family Planning will bring together world leaders, non-governmental organizations, donors, and business leaders to discuss and support the initiatives surrounding family planning to help transform the lives of the world’s poorest women and girls.
Pledge your support to help women around the world determine their livelihood themselves by taking a pledge that “contraceptives are not controversial.”