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Family planning and women empowerment
12. June 2017 at 16:31
by Rajesh Sharma
Family planning refers to the factors that may be considered by a couple in a committed relationship and each individual, involved in deciding if and when to have children. Family planning involve consideration of the number of children a couple wish to have as well as the age at which they wish to have them.
These matters are obviously influenced by external factors such as marital situation, career considerations, financial position, any disabilities that may affect their ability to have children and raise them. There are various means of family planning. These means are meant to reduce the unwanted pregnancies and prevent the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases like Syphilis, Gonorrhoea, HIV AIDS. These include IUCD, Copper T, Condom, contraceptive pills and sterilization process like Vasectomy for male and tubectomy for female.

Access to safe and voluntary family planning is a human right. FP is central to gender equality and women empowerment and it is a key factor in reducing unwanted pregnancies, sexually transmitted diseases etc. So we can say FP provides the dual protection against both unintended pregnancy and STDs. In country like Nepal it is a major determining factor and issue for the gender equality and women power advocacy. When women are empowered to plan whether and when to have children, women can use the time for education and skillful trainings and such that it helps in raising the economic status of the family.

Yet many women who want to avoid pregnancy aren’t using safe and effective family planning methods, for reasons ranging from lack of access to information and services to lack of support from their partners and communities. Due to poverty and illiteracy, people aren’t aware about the family planning method and their advantages to us.  And even though they are well educated about FP due to financial problem, opposition by partners , families and communities they aren’t using it effectively. Nepal being the geographically complex country in the world all the health facilities haven’t reached every nook and corner of the country. Mainly the poor, illiterate people of rural areas have less access to the FP services.

Knowing all these advantages about the FP its our task to help increase the accessibility to FP services and information  to every part of the country. We all should work together along with the government in order to increase the accessibility of people to FP services. Following measures should be taken for increasing accessibility to FP and information:

1. National level wise awareness program about the usefulness of family planning and the safety methods to prevent unwanted pregnancy and STDs.

2. By strengthening the national level health systems and advocating policies supportive of family planning . Planning can be done by gathering data about the family planning status of different places.

3. By ensuring the steady, reliable supply of quality contraceptives from the governmental agencies like Health ministry. All the NGOs, INGOs and government should work together.

4. Study of the conditions of family health status and implementation of family planning methods, and using the data in monitoring, decision making and carving the future programs to be organized in the place to ensure the presence and implementation of family planning measures in the community.

5. Decentralization of decision making and financing in the health sector to the local level. For eg; district health management teams are enabled to design implementation plans for their district

6. By deploying the lower rank or cadres of health professionals like nurses, health surveillance assistant, health assistants and trained volunteers to provide services at local community level. By deploying low rank health worker we can provide health facilities and information to larger mass of people with little financial expenses and investment

7. Encouraging people to start family planning measures to avoid unwanted pregnancies and STDs.

8. Use of slogans and awareness campaign program in the community level

9. By bringing all the services related to family planning closer to communities or to the door of every family

10. By encouraging the people to participate in such family planning related programs, seminars and creating a effective public-private partnership along with the help from Government, NGOs and INGOs

11. By expanding the outreach and mobile services through public-private partnership

12. By remodeling and adding some topics about concepts and importance of family planning in the school level syllabus so as to lock the concept of family planning to teen agers into their mind

13. Sometime cultural taboos and norms hinders the use of contraceptives. In such cases we need to develop the culture of acceptance for FP in the community level as a norm.

By these ways we can increase the accessibility to FP and we can spread the knowledge and information related to it to the people in community level. 
Cite This Article As: Rajesh Sharma. "Family planning and women empowerment." International Youth Journal, 12. June 2017.

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