Lack of access to contraception is a form of violence against women
Media release for International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on 25 November
On the eve of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (November 25), Sustainable Population Australia (SPA) claims that denying women access to contraception is a form of violence.
SPA national president Jenny Goldie says women and adolescent girls must have the right to decide if or when they have sex, and if and when to have children.
“To deny women and adolescent girls that right is coercion; a form of violence,” says Ms Goldie.
“Delaying pregnancy enables adolescents to remain in school to pursue further education. It can lead to work that empowers them socially and economically.
“Contraception reduces not just unwanted pregnancies but also death from unsafe abortion and maternal deaths in childbirth.
“Women and adolescent girls are denied access to modern contraception in a number of ways including: limited choice of methods and services; cultural or religious opposition; and gender-based barriers to accessing services.”
According to a study published in The Lancet last year, 160 million women worldwide had unmet contraception needs in 2019, despite significant progress in the use of modern contraceptives globally over the previous 50 years.
“This study also revealed that more than half the women with unmet need for contraception live in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia,” says Ms Goldie.
“It also found that younger women had the highest levels of unmet need, despite being the group for whom the economic and social benefits of contraceptive access are likely to be most substantial.”
Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3.7.1 target states: By 2030, ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health-care services, including for family planning, information and education, and the integration of reproductive health into national strategies and programmes.
“SPA calls on the Minister for International Development and the Pacific, Pat Conroy MP, to better fund sexual and reproductive health services (SRH) in Australia’s overseas development program to help ensure SDG 3.7.1 is realised.”