In the Media
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.
New York times blogger Andrew Revkin linked to the Bixby Center population growth page in his, DOT EARTH blog. The article discussed his song LIBERATED CARBON and included links to describe the background behind some lines.
To see the post click here http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/06/25/songs-on-this-fossil-age/
Review By ARTHUR H. WESTING
Excerpt: “Potts, imbued with Darwinian evolution, proceeds to make a compelling case for the genetic basis of group violence. This essentially male trait (an insight largely gained from Campbell) of what he terms “coalitional violence” is prominent in our chimpanzee predecessors and has continued to be the unfailing norm throughout human pre-history and subsequent recorded history, to this day. That long-term record is amply demonstrated in the book; and he makes the case that this unfailingly pervasive behavioral propensity derives from continuing natural selection based on competition among males.”
To read the full article go to the The North Adams Transcript’s website
This article discusses this history and controversy around misoprostol and features Bixby Center Chair Malcolm Potts and Scientific Director Dr. Ndola Prata.
Dr Potts is quoted in the article saying misoprostol, “could revolutionize obstetrics the way penicillin revolutionized treatment for infections. ” and Dr. Prata is quoted saying, “In Africa, it will take 80 years for every woman to deliver with a skilled attendant. Do we wait until we have a midwife or a gynecologist for every woman? Women are dying.”
To read the full article go here Globe and Mail: When health and moral values collide
In May Mother Jones Magazine asked Bixby Chair Malcolm Potts, along with other experts, to answer this question on the Mother Jones website. To see his answer and the answers of others such click here: Why Is Population Control Such a Radioactive Topic?