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Empower women to lead climate crisis solutions

When women can control their health and lives, they can better contribute to a healthier, more sustainable future for us all.

What happens when women are empowered to lead climate crisis solutions? Our team in Zambia is exploring new ways of building communities more resilient to the climate crisis.

Until recently, people in North Luangwa, Zambia, struggled to recover from illegal poaching, increased droughts and flooding in their wildlife reserve. And due to severely limited access to contraception, women were often unable to control if or when they had children, which meant that they couldn’t hold leadership roles in community-led efforts to stop poaching and conserve valuable resources.

In response to this crisis, we stepped in to help women take control of their own health and lives, and in turn contributing to efforts to improve the health of their environment. So MSI Reproductive Choices' programme in Zambia partnered with the Frankfurt Zoological Society (FZS), a wildlife conservation agency, to increase community education and support for resource management and contraception in North Luangwa.

We know that communities fare better after environmental catastrophes when women have leadership roles, including those in preparedness and reconstruction. So, we added reproductive health education to FZS’s already-existing programs and worked with traditional leaders to establish outreach sites to provide contraception to women who want it. 

In the first two months of work in the region, we reached more than 1,500 clients. When we first began, people had negative misconceptions about contraception — but with dedicated counseling and community outreach, many people in the community, including men, are now supportive, and our work has empowered women to become involved in anti-poaching efforts and lead the charge to protect their natural resources.

Our work in North Luangwa shows that meeting women’s need for contraception can support the ecosystems communities depend on. That’s why we joined the Thriving Together Campaign, the first global effort dedicated to removing barriers to women’s reproductive choice as a key component to improve the health of individuals, families, communities and the planet.

When women can control their health and lives, they can better contribute to a healthier, more sustainable future for us all.

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Empower millions of women globally to take control of their fertility and futures.

Your donation will help us to provide contraception, safe abortion and family planning services to millions of women and communities worldwide.