Browse by Theme: Sexual Reproductive & Maternal Health

FP2020 has brought a powerful focus on family planning – but we must accelerate progress and fill key gaps to ensure we reach all people with the contraception/family planning services they want and need.

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Of the 225 million women with unmet need for family planning, many live in areas affected by conflict or natural disasters. Delivering family planning services in these settings is critical to ensuring countries meet their FP2020 goals, as well as to fulfilling the sexual and reproductive health rights of the more than 32 million women and girls in need of humanitarian aid.

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On 11 July, the international Family Planning Summit will be held in London, hosted by the UK Department for International Development (DFID), the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and UNFPA. One of the Summit’s four priority areas is on reaching the ‘hardest to reach’, including women and girls in humanitarian settings. But why is family planning in emergencies so crucial, and how can it be truly life-saving?

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Her first four children each died of asphyxiation during delivery. The 30-year-old’s fifth – a baby girl – was born safely at home, and against all odds. When the same expectant mother entered Bihar’s district hospital to deliver her sixth baby, she was hoping for a boy. She entered the hospital carrying the hopes and dreams of the many family members waiting outside for the news and, as I bore witness to, her prayers were answered.

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The plight of refugee women both in Europe and the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region has been largely ignored, characterised by a lack of information and lost in the broader sweep of the humanitarian disaster. This won’t be the first time in history women’s issues were side-lined in light of a bigger cause.

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What is the Family Planning Summit?

The one-day high level Summit, held in London on 11 July 2017, aimed to build on the progress made in many countries since the London Summit on Family Planning in 2012. Governments, donors, the private sector and civil society gathered together to make more ambitious and substantial commitments to achieve the goals of FP2020 – a global partnership that supports the rights of women and girls to decide, freely, and for themselves, whether, when, and how many children they want to have.

Read our verdict on the Summit

Why was it important?

Voluntary family planning helps women take control over decisions about when and how many children to have. It saves lives and has the power to boost the development of entire countries. Read more in the Family Planning Summit concept note. The Summit focused on:

  • innovative financial solutions to ensure quality contraceptive options are available around the world
  • strengthening supply chains so that women have access to and can choose a method that best meets their needs
  • empowering young people to have access to contraceptives and to be able to make their own choices
  • reaching the hardest to reach, especially women experiencing humanitarian crises or facing other socio-cultural barriers

Read CARE’s key messages and policy asks (download 2-page PDF)

CARE advocated in particular for:

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Sex doesn’t stop during emergencies – CARE’s April Houston outlines the horrific circumstances facing women and girls in emergency settings, and what is being done about it

Family planning saves lives and promotes resilience in humanitarian contexts – this report published by the International Rescue Committee, CARE, Save the Children and the Women’s Refugee Commission On behalf of the the Inter-agency Working Group for Reproductive Health in Crises (IAWG) includes collaborative solutions and actions that need to be taken by countries, implementing agencies, and donors

Family planning in emergencies – why is it so crucial, and how can it be truly life-saving?

Let’s accelerate progress and fill key gaps – what CARE has done so far, and what we are going to do to achieve even more

CARE’s approach to Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights – an overview of our programme approach to SRHR

Designing for impact at scale – CARE’s 2016 report on progress towards our objective of supporting 100 million women and girls to exercise their rights to sexual, reproductive and maternal health and a life free from violence by 2020

Supporting access to family planning and post-abortion care in emergencies – a summary of CARE’s SAFPAC project in Chad, DRC and Pakistan

CARE’s family planning wiki – our online Sexual and Reproductive Health & Rights knowledge centre

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Blog by Laurie Lee and Ramil Burden (Vice President, Africa and developing countries, GSK):

In the north eastern corner of Bangladesh lies Sunamganj district. A remote area that is underwater for almost half of the year, it is one of the hardest places in the country to be a mother. In 2012, only 11% of births were assisted by a skilled health worker compared to a third across the country, and the maternal mortality rate was double that of the nation as a whole.

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