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Melinda Gates Discusses Need For Progress Toward Expanding Global Access To Family Planning

National Geographic: Opinion: Want to Empower Women Worldwide? Give Them Access to Contraceptives
Melinda Gates, co-founder of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

“…When women are able to plan their pregnancies around their goals for themselves and their families, they are also better able to finish their education, earn an income, and fully participate in their communities. … In communities where women have access to contraceptives, children stay in school longer, and entire families are healthier, wealthier, and far better equipped to break the cycle of poverty. For all of these reasons, in 2012, I co-chaired a summit that brought leaders from around the world together around the goal of expanding … access to contraceptives for the women who desperately want and need them. The global partnership, called Family Planning 2020, pledged to get 120 million more women access to contraceptives by the year 2020. It was an ambitious but achievable goal … Unfortunately, our progress has not yet lived up to our ambition. We are now more than halfway to the 2020 deadline, but not yet on track to reach 120 million women by the promised date. … In 2012, we made a promise to women around the world. Our actions over the next three years will decide whether we keep it” (2/3).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.