Ndola Prata, MD, MSC, presented at the Stanford WHSDM Women’s Global Health Forum. Dr. Prata is a Professor in Residence, Maternal Child and Adolescent Health at the University of Californina, Berkeley; Fred H. Bixby Endowed Chair in Population and Family Planning, Director, Bixby Center for Population, Health and Sustainability, Co-Director, Innovations for Youth (I4Y) School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley Co-Director, Center of Expertise on Women’s Health, Gender and Empowerment University of California, Global Health Institute (UCGHI)
In the Media
It is imperative to make family planning more accessible in low resource settings. The poorest couples have the highest fertility, the lowest contraceptive use and the highest unmet need for contraception. It is also in the low resource settings where maternal and child mortality is the highest. Family planning can contribute to improvements in maternal and child health, especially in low resource settings where overall access to health services is limited. Four critical steps should be taken to increase access to family planning in resource-poor settings: (i) increase knowledge about the safety of family planning methods; (ii) ensure contraception is genuinely affordable to the poorest families; (iii) ensure supply of contraceptives by making family planning a permanent line item in healthcare system’s budgets and (iv) take immediate action to remove barriers hindering access to family planning methods. In Africa, there are more women with an unmet need for family planning than women currently using modern methods. Making family planning accessible in low resource settings will help decrease the existing inequities in achieving desired fertility at individual and country level. In addition, it could help slow population growth within a human rights framework. The United Nations Population Division projections for the year 2050 vary between a high of 10.6 and a low of 7.4 billion. Given that most of the growth is expected to come from today’s resource-poor settings, easy access to family planning could make a difference of billions in the world in 2050.
To learn more, access the paper here.
The UC San Diego Center on Gender Equity and Health is proud to share findings from their 2019 study on sexual harassment and assault in the United States, “Measuring #MeToo: A National Study on Sexual Harassment and Assault”. This work, conducted in partnership with Stop Street Harassment, Raliance, and Promundo, non-governmental organizations focused on prevention of harmful social norms and violence nationally and globally, was conducted with a nationally representative survey of 1,182 women and 1,037 men. Key findings of this study are that 81% of women and 43% of men have experienced some form of sexual harassment and/or assault in their lifetime nationwide, and approximately one-third of people admit to perpetration of sexual harassment. However, only 1-2% of individuals has ever been accused of sexual harassment or assault, indicating that sexual harassment is widespread, particularly among women, but accusations remain very rare.
Last week, students from the Bixby Center joined students from all over California to lobby senators at the Capitol in support of SB 24, a fully-funded bill that would mandate California UCs and CSUs to provide medication abortion. Community colleges and private institutions may opt-in to receive funding grants as well.
Trust students! Do not allow barriers to their healthcare access!
#justCARE #SB24 #caleg
Bixby Director Dr. Ndola Prata, and Research Specialist, Ashley Fraser have published the first review of literature on the relationship between women’s empowerment and family planning in the Journal of Biosocial Science!
To view this article, click here: https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/journal-of-biosocial-science/article/div-classtitlewomens-empowerment-and-family-planning-a-review-of-the-literaturediv/DB0C0FC1BB23407AC9C256556DAE435B
This paper reviews the literature examining the relationship between women’s empowerment and contraceptive use, unmet need for contraception and related family planning topics in developing countries. Searches were conducted using PubMed, Popline and Web of Science search engines in May 2013 to examine literature published between January 1990 and December 2012. Among the 46 articles included in the review, the majority were conducted in South Asia (n=24). Household decision-making (n=21) and mobility (n=17) were the most commonly examined domains of women’s empowerment. Findings show that the relationship between empowerment and family planning is complex, with mixed positive and null associations. Consistently positive associations between empowerment and family planning outcomes were found for most family planning outcomes but those investigations represented fewer than two-fifths of the analyses. Current use of contraception was the most commonly studied family planning outcome, examined in more than half the analyses, but reviewed articles showed inconsistent findings. This review provides the first critical synthesis of the literature and assesses existing evidence between women’s empowerment and family planning use.
Lauren Caton (UC Berkeley MPH student, Maternal and Child Health Program) has recently published an Op Ed on Ms. Magazine blog! The article titled, I’m Proud of Texas—But Not Our Record on Sexual and Reproductive Health discusses the reproductive health issues in the state of Texas. Click here to read Lauren’s article!
Lauren Caton is a recent graduate of The University of Texas at Austin and misses her home state dearly. She is a current Master of Public Health student at UC Berkeley in the Maternal and Child Health concentration. She hopes to return with the knowledge needed to equip women with the power to make their own reproductive health choices and advocate for policy change.
In an important scientific achievement for women’s health, two large Phase III clinical trials — The Ring Study and ASPIRE — have shown that a monthly vaginal ring containing the antiretroviral drug (ARV) dapivirine can safely help prevent HIV-1 infection in women. Developed by the nonprofit International Partnership for Microbicides (IPM), the monthly ring is the first long-acting HIV prevention method designed for women, who bear the greatest burden of the global HIV/AIDS epidemic. IPM plans to apply for regulatory approval to license the product.
To read more on these studies, please click on the pdf here.
Our Bixby Director, Dr. Ndola Prata is on the Board of Directors for the International Partnership for Microbicides (IPM).
by Malcolm Potts
An excerpt from the L.A. Times:
When Pope Francis put in a word for “responsible parenthood” on his way back from the Philippines the other day, he added an off-the-cuff remark that grabbed headlines: Catholics, he said, do not need to breed “like rabbits.”
The problem, however, is precisely the opposite: If only Catholics could breed like rabbits. Given rabbit biology, and the church’s restrictions on contraception, that would make “responsible parenthood” easier for the faithful to accomplish.
Read more here.
Mother, the film, breaks a 40-year taboo by bringing to light an issue that silently fuels our most pressing environmental, humanitarian and social crises – population growth. In 2011 the world population reached 7 billion, a startling seven-fold increase since the first billion occurred 200 years ago.
Population was once at the top of the international agenda, dominating the first Earth Day and the subject of best-selling books like “The Population Bomb”. Since the 1960s the world population has nearly doubled, adding more than 3 billion people. At the same time, talking about population has become politically incorrect because of the sensitivity of the issues surrounding the topic–religion, economics, family planning and gender inequality. Yet it is an issue we cannot afford to ignore.
Today, nearly 1 billion people still suffer from chronic hunger even though the Green Revolution that has fed billions will soon come to an end due to the diminishing availability of its main ingredients–oil and water. Compounded with our ravenous appetite for natural resources, population growth is putting an unprecedented burden on the life system we all depend on, as we refuse to face the fact that more people equals more problems.
The film illustrates both the over-consumption and the inequity side of the population issue by following Beth, a mother and a child-rights activist as she comes to discover, along with the audience, the thorny complexities of the population issue. Beth – who comes from a large American family of 12 and has adopted an African-born daughter–travels to Ethiopia where she meets Zinet, the oldest daughter of a desperately poor family of 12. Zinet has found the courage to break free from thousand-year-old-cultural barriers, and their encounter will change Beth forever.
Grounded in the theories of social scientist Riane Eisler, the film strives not to blame but to educate, to highlight a different path for humanity. Overpopulation is merely a symptom of an even larger problem – a “domination system” that for most of human history has glorified the domination of man over nature, man over child and man over woman. To break this pattern, the film demonstrates that we must change our conquering mindset into a nurturing one. And the first step is to raise the status of women worldwide.
“Mother: Caring for 7 Billion” features world-renown experts and scientists including biologist Paul Ehrlich, author of “The Population Bomb;” economist Mathis Wackernagel, the creator of the ground-breaking Footprint Network; Malcolm Potts, a pioneer in human reproductive health; and Riane Eisler, whose book “The Chalice and the Blade” has been published in 23 countries.