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The reason why we think Bill and Melinda Gates got it so right in their annual letter

21 Jan 2014 | Maternal health.

In this year’s annual letter, the Gates skilfully debunk some of the most common myths about aid and global development. For us, the number one message is the central role that contraception has to play in empowering women, transforming societies and creating a sustainable world.

Here we share three infographics that sum up the importance of family planning and what we need to do to break down barriers to access.

1. Putting choice at the heart of sustainable development

In the Gates’ myth-busting letter, they place choice at the heart of a sustainable future, highlighting the transformative effect that contraception can have on individuals, their families and society as a whole.

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Three keys to a sustainable world

2. The economics of family planning

We know that access to contraception matters. It means women can go to work and earn their own money. It means parents can more easily afford to look after and educate their children leading to higher wages and living standards. And in the future it will mean a higher quality workforce that is equipped to compete in the global economy.

Click the image

Economics of birth control

3. What keeps women from accessing family planning

But for contraceptive choice to become a reality for everyone, we need to overcome the barriers that are keeping women from accessing family planning. Here we summarise some of the main reasons, amongst them myths and misinformation.

Click image to enlarge

Unmet need for contraception Marie Stopes


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