Population and family planning

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.

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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18 November 2020

World vasectomy day

A celebration of men around the world who are stepping up for their partners, their families and their future.

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28 September 2020

International Safe Abortion Day

As an international day of action for decriminalization of abortion, The day was launched in 1990 by the Campaña 28 Septiembre, a regional network of activist groups, who have been organizing activities in support of safe abortion around that date in the region ever since.

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26 September 2020

World Contraception Day

Launched in 2007, WCD’s mission is to improve awareness of contraception and to enable young people to make informed choices on their sexual and reproductive health.

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17 November 2018

World vasectomy day

A celebration of men around the world who are stepping up for their partners, their families and their future.

See: http://www.worldvasectomyday.org/

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4 December 2017

Matters Not forgetting the men…

With a rightful focus on women’s unmet need for contraception and the roles of female education and women’s empowerment in family planning, the importance of male contraception can sometimes be neglected.

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The feminist case for smaller families

Briefings and submissions

More and more women are choosing to have smaller families.1 Many are choosing to forego having children entirely. Such choices have been criticised in the past, but attitudes are changing as more people come to see the benefits of having smaller families or living a childfree life.

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