I think that family planning is a very important way for humanity around the world to create a more sustainable future.
In this thread, let's discuss efforts worldwide in family planning, including in western nations.
Monica, Seems to me that education, empowerment of women, and availability of options is required. Given that, what group/culture/nation/etc should be targeted first? Certainly in this country we have a lot of people who still believe that many children is a self-validation or an unquestioned dogma.
Hi Paul, I think you have asked a good question. Maybe the group can do some research into this and find out. Answers may depend on what parameters a family planning funder is most interested in, and the likelihood of success in each case.
I think it is clear that, because western nations have greater per capita environmental impact than poorer nations, family planning is important in both rich and poor nations. And around half of all pregnancies in the US (for example) are unplanned!
The Optimum Population Trust has recently started family planning programmes that are targetted at reducing climate changing emissions, over both the short term and the long term. They are dividing the funding equally between rich and poor nations, initially with a project in the UK and a project in Madagascar. The Trust also recognizes that per capita emissions are likely to grow in poorer nations, even though they are relatively small now, so this work is expected to have long-term benefits in the climate change arena, in addition to helping to relieve poverty.
This post was modified from its original form on 07 Sep, 0:59
Empowering women will help the world in all aspects.
From http://www.unfpa.org/rh/planning.htm :
At least 200 million women want to use safe and effective family planning methods, but are unable to do so because they lack access to information and services or the support of their husbands and communities.
I have found more information at http://www.un.org/esa/population/publications/WCU2009/Main.html .
(I cannot however open this document - perhaps someone who can, can post a summary of the unmet needs.)
As I understand the way some agencies define their parameters so far, people with an unmet need for family planning and contraception do not include people who want more children soon, and do not include people who are using traditional contraceptive methods (some of which may be much less effective than modern methods).
and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Nations_Population_Fund :
"The world's largest international source of funding for population and reproductive health programs is the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).
The UNFPA works in partnership with other United Nations agencies, governments civil society organizations and communities to attain the Millennium Development Goals.
Its stated mission is to promote the right of every woman, man and child to enjoy a life of "health and equal opportunity." UNFPA supports countries in using population data for policies and programs to "reduce poverty and to ensure that every pregnancy is wanted, every birth is safe, every young person is free of HIV/AIDS, and every girl and woman is treated with dignity and respect."
The agency’s main goals are:
I believe resources for health care, sexual education and available contraception should be found, but one of the larger obstacles would be a cultural shift toward a small-family preferred model. I'm afraid a shorter-term outcome of all these investments will be a baby boom (general wellbeing and reduced maternal and infant mortality). It may take a few generations in some countries to shift into voluntary 1-2 child family. Especially when developed nations have no intentions of leading this cause, for all their fear of ageing population and economic slow-down.
Thanks Vicki, I agree. I think that shifting to sustainable lifestyles, including 0-1-2 child families, will require culture changes in many nations around the world. I think that this will be a key issue. I am hopeful that it can be achieved in a way that can help the planet, eg by people like the Population Media Center. Their website looks quite impressive in some ways, and I think that there has been mention on it somewhere of trying to persuade people to have smaller families - though they didn't position this prominently on their site when I last looked. Among their results I think they mention reductions in family sizes in some cases (would have to confirm this).
Thank you for your very good comment!