Advancing gender equality
Gender equality isn’t possible without reproductive choice.
It’s shocking that only 57 percent of women around the world are able to make their own informed decisions on sex and reproductive health. This isn’t equality. This is women and girls being denied agency over their own bodies and healthcare, meaning their futures are not in their hands. These women need reproductive choice.
The power of reproductive choice is in its ripple effect. It saves women’s and girls’ lives, it enables girls to stay in school, it helps women build careers and economic stability, and supports women to lead in their communities. Reproductive choice is the gateway to a gender equal world.
At MSI, we trust women to make the decisions that are right for their health, lives and futures. We deliver choices and put the power in their hands.
Reproductive choice saves women’s and girls’ lives
Women and girls across the globe are still denied access to essential, life-saving reproductive health services. Lives are on the line.
Without access to contraception or safe abortion, women are often forced to resort to desperate and unsafe measures. Almost half of abortions are performed through dangerous methods — these women are risking devastating long-term health complications, and their lives.
Our MSI Africa Director Banchi Dessalegn shares her memory from growing up in Addis Ababa at a time when abortion was heavily restricted. She knew a girl who died by suicide after becoming pregnant because she did not know who to turn to. Another girl disappeared from her class one day, never to return and they heard rumours that she had ingested bleach to end her pregnancy. This is all too common in places where safe abortion care is hard to access.
Giving women and girls high-quality reproductive healthcare saves lives. MSI’s teams saved 42,600 women’s and girls’ lives last year.
Reproductive choice helps girls stay in school
Many girls are robbed of the chance to finish their education. Every year in sub-Saharan Africa, up to four million teenage girls drop out of school because they are pregnant. In Niger, only one in 100 girls will finish secondary school.
Just one additional year of education can increase a girl’s future earnings by up to 20 percent.
If adolescents had access to the information and services they need to make informed reproductive choices, millions more girls would remain in school. So we’re doing everything we can to make that happen with targeted strategies to reach more young people. Last year, we helped 400,000 girls stay in school.
“I grew up in a rural community where teenage pregnancy and early motherhood were normal. It wasn’t until university that I learnt about contraception and safe abortion. I couldn’t help but wonder, if my classmates and family members had this information, I probably wouldn’t have been the only one who attended university.”
– Esi Asare Prah, Advocacy Manager for MSI Ghana
Reproductive choice helps women build careers and financial independence
Denying someone reproductive choice can create lasting economic hardship and continue cycles of poverty. Research has found that women who were unable to access an abortion in the US were more likely to face bankruptcy and eviction and had increased household poverty and debt.
With control over their reproductive choices, women are more likely to have the opportunity to choose their path in life — and for some, that means building a career. We know that work and financial independence can transform a woman’s life and family, and we’re proud to support women’s dreams.
Responding to sexual and gender-based violence in reproductive healthcare
Gender inequality is at the root of sexual and gender-based violence. We fiercely defend a woman’s right to be safe and to have bodily autonomy.
As healthcare providers, we offer a space where women can talk freely about their sexual experiences and health, knowing that anything they discuss will be confidential and met without judgement. Our team members are often among the first to be trusted with a survivor’s experience of domestic or sexual violence.
Build a more gender-equal world with us
The ripple effect of reproductive choice is powerful. Join us in giving women and girls the choices they need to thrive.
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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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