Women’s Economic Empowerment
Family planning and women’s economic empowerment are mutually beneficial: when women have control over their bodies and family size, they are better positioned to pursue educational and economic goals outside the home, and when women have greater access to and control over economic resources they are better able to access and use family planning. Many women do not have access to cash resources or transportation for accessing health services and products like contraception. Moreover, in some areas, restriction on women’s ability to move around in public limits their access to health resources. Community-based distribution, free provision of commodities, and conditional cash transfers can accommodate these gender inequalities to make it possible for women to space or prevent pregnancies.
Impact of Conditional Cash Transfers on Maternal and Newborn Health
This policy paper is a review of studies from eight countries on conditional cash transfers (CCTs) that report maternal and newborn health outcomes. The review concludes that there are positive health outcomes from CCTs and discusses priorities for future investment in CCT programs.
The Impact of Family Planning on Women’s Educational Advancement in Tehran, Iran
This study assesses the impact of contraceptive use and delayed childbearing on urban married women’s ability to seek educational and employment opportunities after marriage in Tehran. The paper examines trends across three marriage cohorts, based on a 2009 survey collected by the author examining birth and contraceptive histories as well as education and employment status of husbands and wives over the life-course.
Family Planning and Economic Growth
In this Working Paper, part of a series from CFR's Women and Foreign Policy program, Joy Phumaphi explores the relationship between access to voluntary family planning and economic growth.
Men’s Engagement in Family Planning
Increasingly, family planning programs understand the need to foster male partners’ active and supportive roles in planning their families. Family planning is often seen as solely a woman’s concern, and yet many women do not have the power to access and use contraception without the permission, cooperation, or support of their spouses or family members. Moreover, norms of masculinity in many areas place a high value on men’s virility and ability to father children and discourage health-seeking behaviors of men, which can be perceived as a sign of weakness.
Men’s roles in family planning may range from open communication and shared decision-making with their female partners about ideal family size and family planning methods, to financial support for accessing family planning, to men’s own uptake of vasectomy and condom use. Efforts to encourage men to become involved in planning their families can also lead to overall improvements in couples’ communication.
Increasing Men's Engagement to Improve Family Planning Programs in South Asia
July 2012 | Literature Review
This literature review synthesizes recent research on cultural barriers to men’s engagement in family planning and presents successful strategies for increasing men’s engagement based on global and regional evidence. Additionally, the literature review provides guidance for designing activities to engage men in family planning programs.
Gender-based violence is pervasive worldwide. Violence against women in particular has implications for community health programs, especially those that address family planning. Women and girls who experience sexual violence and coercion have an urgent need for family planning, including emergency contraception, to prevent unintended pregnancies. Women experiencing intimate partner violence may have lower demand for family planning, are more likely to use contraception in secret, and have higher rates of both unintended pregnancies and unsafe abortions.
Gender-based violence also increases during pregnancy, which has serious implications for maternal health. Children of women who experience violence during pregnancy also suffer poor health outcomes.
Community health services present an opportunity to screen women and girls for gender-based violence and to refer them to appropriate services for support.
WHO Multi-country Study on Women's Health and Domestic Violence against Women
November 2005 | Publication
This publication analyzes data from 10 countries and sheds new light on the prevalence of violence against women in countries where few data were previously available. It also uncovers the forms and patterns of this violence across different countries and cultures, documenting the consequences of violence for women’s health.
Around the world, many girls are married while they are still children (under age 18). Early marriage is most common in poor and rural communities and is likely to be arranged with little or no knowledge or consent from the girl herself. Girls who marry early are less able to continue their educations and are at increased risk for gender-based violence and health complications of early sexual initiation and childbearing. Interventions are needed both to prevent early marriage and to provide support to married girls.
Addis Birhan Project
This brief outlines the Addis Birhan Project. The curriculum for men includes modules on gender, relationships, caring for children and families, drugs and alcohol, HIV and AIDS, sexual and reproductive health, and violence.
Early Marriage, A Harmful Traditional Practice. A Statistical Exploration
This publication estimates the prevalence of child marriage and seeks to identify and understand the factors associated with child marriage and cohabitation. The statistical linkages identified can help programmers promote delayed marriage and use advocacy and behavior-change campaigns to prevent child marriage.
Gender Norms of Health Care Providers
Gender norms are part of the community and affect everyone. Community health programs must recognize that everyone, including program designers and healthcare providers themselves, are socialized into certain ways of thinking and behaving as women and men, and about women and men. As a result, women and men often experience stigma and discrimination from healthcare providers. Healthcare providers should receive training in gender sensitivity to challenge their thinking about gender norms and be mindful of gender issues when interacting with clients.
Putting Gender Perspective into Practice
August 2008 | Publication
This publication summarizes how FRONTIERS project improved understanding of the impact of gender issues on reproductive health and helped identify effective actions for incorporating gender perspective into
Community Health Worker Motivation
In the face of global health worker shortages, the use of community health workers (CHWs) is an important health care delivery strategy for underserved populations. In Uganda, community-based programs often use volunteer CHWs to extend services, including family planning, in rural areas. This study examined factors related to CHW motivation and level of activity in three family planning programs in Uganda.
Community Health Policy Matters
APC’s Community Health Policy Matters video tells the story of fictional characters Winnie and Mary, and how a fragmented health system affects each woman’s ability to access family planning services in her respective community. This animated video highlights how policy can improve the health system for women.