Gender equality isn’t possible without reproductive choice: Six women tell us why

Gender equality   |   1 March 2024   |   5 min read



International Women’s Day is a global day to celebrate women, and a rallying call for everyone to do their part to accelerate gender equality. We’re taking the opportunity to share women’s perspectives today.

As the women below tell us through their own stories, gender equality isn’t possible without reproductive choices like abortion and contraception.

Join us in celebrating brave frontline healthcare providers and campaigners who are advancing gender equality, and the millions of women who fight for their reproductive rights and choices in their own ways, every single day. And if you want to take action for International Women’s Day today, you can donate to help support a woman’s reproductive choices.

– Hingis, 24, MSI client and university student (quoted below)

“I have a long way ahead of me with my studies, so it’s really important that I have access to contraception, so that I don’t get pregnant right now. I don’t want to be in a situation that I didn’t choose. Things are evolving. Now women can be out there making money, pushing our families to the top and making our country proud.”

– Hingis, 24, MSI client and university student

– Shelia, 25, MSI client and studying business (quoted below)

“When I started taking contraception and it worked, I felt so much calmer. It should be your choice if you want to get pregnant. In the next ten years, I’m hoping to become a lawyer. A lot of people in our country need help and I think I can help them. I want to also be a CEO one day. My hope for women and girls is to have a bright future.”

– Sheila, 25, MSI client and studying business

Susana, an MSI abortion provider in México City

“I made the decision to continue with my personal life. I have other plans, I want to continue doing more things, I am not ready to have a child yet. I want to finish my degree, I want to continue traveling, I want time for myself. I think it’s simple when you know what you want.”

– 26-year-old MSI client in Mexico

30-year-old Beatrice, MSI client, serves a customer at her mobile money stall

“I hope in the future women will be empowered to work on their own and also get a lot of income to take care of themselves without a man! For me, I want to be able to take care of my kids so they can get the highest level of education, so I can improve their futures.”

– Beatrice, 30, MSI client and business owner

Josephine, MSI midwife (quoted below)

“I counsel women on their reproductive health. When our clients choose their own contraception method, they can go out to work or take care of their children or just have the opportunity to know themselves and explore other options rather than just having to give birth. If every woman had the opportunity to access their reproductive choices, there would be change. They would get power.”

– Josephine, MSI Ghana midwife

Sita, 34, MSI client in remote Nepal

“It was very important to me that I could manage this on my own. I feel I have a better life because of this [abortion] service. I’ve got back to normal life; with the child, it’s nine months of pregnancy, but you are impacted for years and years. It is very costly for women not just to bear a child, to bring them up until they are grown-up.”

– Sita, 34, MSI client

At MSI, we trust women to make the decisions that are right for their health, lives and futures. We deliver choices and put power in our clients’ hands.

But only 57 percent of women around the world are able to make their own informed decisions on sex and reproductive health. We’ve got to keep fighting to ensure that everyone has access to these life-changing choices, so that women and girls can determine their own future paths, whatever they may be.

Reproductive choice is the gateway to a gender equal world.  For International Women’s Day, we’re choosing choice. Will you?

Banchiamlack Dessalegn

Opinion in Al Jazeera

Unmissable article from MSI Africa Director: gender equality isn’t possible without abortion and contraception.

Children in school (1)

MSI Priority: Gender Equality

Read more about how reproductive choice is building a gender-equal world. 


Read Aisha’s story

Aisha is a young Senegalese woman in her late teens, just about to finish her final year of school. Here’s her story.  



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