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Family planning is the key, and EngenderHealth is working around the world to make it accessible for every woman. Learn more.

Dear Friend,

During my visit to Ghana in May, I met Ama, a 32-year-old mother of three. Ama told me she wanted to avoid becoming pregnant again so she could focus on raising her young children and giving them the future they deserve. There was only one problem: She didn’t have access to birth control.

Ama joins 30% of Ghanaian women age 15-49 who face a similar reality, along with 222 million more women in the developing world.

But just around the corner today, there is a momentous opportunity to help women like Ama to plan their families and build brighter futures for their children. On July 11 (also World Population Day), I will attend a landmark Family Planning Summit in London, where global leaders will convene to garner the resources and commitments needed to reach 120 million more women with family planning services by 2020.

Building on the welcome energy and attention that this event will generate, we must be sure to amplify the voices and desires of the very people we strive to serve: women. Doing so requires more than just reaching women with family planning—we must put their rights front and center and ensure that our efforts yield benefits that are truly felt by women.

To achieve this, women need full information to make informed and voluntary decisions about the methods that best suit their individual needs. They also need to be able to choose, without coercion, from a wide range of contraceptive options, including long-acting and permanent methods. Making this a reality requires training health care providers to offer high-quality services and to be able to listen to and respond to their clients’ needs. These are the very skills we have successfully imbued among health providers in more than 100 countries over the last 70 years, through our provider training programs and with your critical support.

But focusing on women alone is not enough. We must continue to engage more men to support their partners' health. Too often, men wield disproportionate decision-making power when it comes to sexual relations or reproductive health. But as we have seen in Tanzania and 25 other countries where we work to engage men as partners, they can also be the most powerful champions for their partners’ health.

Ultimately, significant and sustainable progress will only be possible when women are exercising their rights to determine when to have children and how many to have. We know what it takes to achieve success and ask that you share this message, to help more women build a bright future for themselves and their families.


Pamela W. Barnes
President & CEO


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