Working for Change 227
Sometimes a woman would like to space her children or limit the
number she has, but cannot use family planning. This can happen
• she cannot get the information about different methods.
• some family planning methods are not easily available or cost
too much for the family to afford.
• there are no women’s health or family planning services nearby,
or the local health worker is not trained to provide family
• religious beliefs forbid the use of family planning.
• a woman’s husband does not agree to use family planning.
Here are some things that groups of people can do to make family planning
services more available to all women in the community, and to encourage the use
of family planning:
• Provide education. Make information about family planning available to
everyone—boys and girls as well as women and men. Education programs can
show the benefits of family planning and help couples choose the best methods
for them. Perhaps you can lead discussions with women or couples about their
concerns and experiences related to family planning. Include information about
preventing STIs and HIV when you talk about family planning.
• Make family planning methods accessible at a low cost. Have a local health
worker trained to provide family planning services start a women’s health
center or include family planning services at your local clinic.
• Train male outreach workers to educate men about the importance and
benefits of family planning. Help men understand their role
in reproduction so they can see that they should share the
responsibility for family planning. Try to change attitudes about
what is ‘manly’ so that men will support and participate in
family planning with their partners.
• Address local religious concerns about family
planning. If a family planning method can be explained in
a way that respects religious beliefs, it will help create
more acceptance of it.
As you talk about family planning in your
community, it helps to remember and remind
others that family planning is important to
improve not just women’s health and well
being, but the health and quality of life of
everyone in your community.
Where Women Have No Doctor 2012