The Unmet Need for Family Planning
Globally, more than 200 million women who want to avoid or delay pregnancy are not using an effective method of contraception. In other words, they have an unmet need for family planning.
In 2008, 140 million women were not using any method of contraception and 75 million were using traditional methods which have high failure rates.
Access to family planning is important because it upholds the basic right of women and couples to decide if and when they wish to have children. This right has been enshrined in international agreements, including the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) Programme of Action and in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), specifically MDG 5b (achieve universal access to reproductive health).
However, family planning is also unquestionably linked to human development, including:
- poverty alleviation and economic growth
- the empowerment of women
- improving health
Experts working in developing countries testify from their personal experience why investing in family planning is key in their country. Read more about the unmet need for family planning in: