Modern contraception has played a key role in decreasing global fertility rates (the total number of children per woman). Having the freedom to choose if, when and how many children to have has enabled women in high-income countries to pursue education and career opportunities that were previously inaccessible.

Unfortunately, the majority of women still have insufficient control over their fertility and their lives. More than 230 million women in developing nations who wish to avoid pregnancy are currently unable to because they are not using modern birth control. Barriers to family planning include lack of access, cost, misinformation, and patriarchal religious and cultural norms.

Read our latest news stories and blog posts about family planning.

Urban landscape
5 February 2019

Will the world run out of people?

A newly published book, Empty Planet, claims that global population will shortly start decreasing and continue to do so. Might it be right?

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Euros
1 February 2019

Family planning gets European funding boost

Funding for sexual health and family planning from European donor countries increased by 17% between 2016 and 2017, with the UK remaining one of the largest donors.

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Ethiopian woman with child
25 January 2019

Stigma and fears - barriers to family planning in Africa

Tens of millions of married women in sub-Saharan Africa are not using effective, modern contraception. A new study provides insights on the reasons, and reveals how the barriers might be overcome.

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12 December 2017

Progress in family planning – but a long road ahead

Last week, Family Planning 2020 released its annual report. The project is designed to enable 120 more million women and girls in the world’s poorest countries to use modern contraception by 2020.

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14 November 2018

Running to stand still? Meeting family planning targets.

A new report shows that despite progress, global targets set for the use of modern family planning in 2020 will be missed. Government inaction and international funding shortfalls are among the many barriers faced in some of the world's poorest countries.

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28 January 2016

Campaigning for more UK aid for family planning

Access to family planning services is vital to poverty reduction and the success of the sustainable development goals (SDGs).

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4 April 2017

US ends funding for United Nations Population Fund

On Monday, the US declared it was cutting its funds to the United Nations Population Fund(UNFPA) – an agency that promotes family planning in more than 150 countries – threatening the health and rights of millions of girls and women around the world, particularly those most vulnerable.

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28 March 2017

One step forward, two steps back in African economic development?

Despite significant progress in recent years, Malawi’s government is concerned that young Malawis will inherit only poverty as economic gains are neutralised by population growth. 

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26 October 2018

UN population report: progress, but much to do

The new State of the World Population 2018 report published by the United Nations Population Fund highlights the importance of having the power to choose the timing, number, and spacing of children in order to promote global economic and social development.

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17 November 2019

World vasectomy day

The family planning community has largely ignored men,  however,  when presented with accurate and compelling information, many men will share responsibility for family planning.

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