Can you imagine living in a place where you had absolutely no choice or control over your body? Can you imagine waiting days to see a doctor or never seeing a doctor once during a pregnancy or even during childbirth?
For most women in the developed world, not having access to doctors or family planning seems ludicrous. Yet this situation is the reality for millions of women around the world who do not have access to family planning, prenatal care or OBGYNs.
In fact, 215 million women around the world do not have access to contraception. To put things into perspective, this figure represents more than all the women of the United States and Canada combined.
Not having access to contraception leads to many cyclic problems that keep women in poverty and does not allow them to reach their full potential. For instance, in Uganda the average woman bears 8 children in her lifetime. This makes it almost impossible for women to finish school, support themselves, feed their children and climb the ladder out of a tragic cycle of deep poverty.
Many women would like to have access to family planning but simply don’t for a number of reasons. It may be cultural, religious or financial. Some women aren’t even aware that they have a choice because they don’t even know that contraception exists. Women around the world face many barriers to reproductive health care that women in the developed world would not accept. It isn’t fair that these women do not have the choice to make their own decisions about their bodies. Choices that could make them live a happier, healthier life for them and their families.
Pathfinder International, one of the leading organizations advocating for women’s reproductive rights, has come up with a campaign to change this inequity. For over 50 years, Pathfinder has changed and saved the lives of women and their families throughout the developing world by increasing access to essential reproductive health services, including contraceptives. Two months ago, Pathfinder took their cause to the Internet by launching a tongue and cheek video properly titled “No Joke. Choice Matters”.
The video has been an internet sensation highlighting in a humorous albeit serious way that not having choice and control over a woman’s reproductive health is literally no joke. Over 10,000 people have viewed the video since its inception. It is Pathfinder’s hope that this video will continue to be shared and educate others on why choice matters and how we can give these woman around the world a voice in the matter.
Please view the video and spread the word. Wouldn’t you want to have a choice over your own body?
Reproductive health was high up on the agenda for both the Social Good Summit and the Clinton Global Initiative in NYC this weekend. Thank you for reporting on this important global issue!
You’re welcome! It is an amazing initiative and it feels wonderful to spread the word and give more women choice and control over their reproductive health.
I don’t know why but I really surprised by this and putting it into our context by filming that video in a ‘modern’ clinic really brings home the point how scary and wrong it all is. No, I can’t imagine having to deal with any of that.
Yes, pretty crazy situation for so many women. It is important to get the word out to others.
The even scarier part is that many use religion as an excuse to not use proper precautions. The church (mosque/synagogue whichever) has such a strong influence on it’s followers, you would think that they would want to help the impoverished families and women break out of their situations, but instead, by decreeing that contraception is wrong women are left in a terrible predicament…doing what they feel they need vs. what they are told. For example, I know of a woman, in the US, who is stuck in poverty, with 4 children and another on the way simply because she refuses to use any contraception, because she is religious and has been told that she cannot use contraception and cannot abort this 5th child. It is indeed a very sad situation.
Thanks for sharing the video Nicole!
YES! That is all. 🙂