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Are Reproductive Rights important? Turns out, YES... for everyone

SGUW 'Strong Girls' prepping for a rally and march

People who study demographics and plain common sense tells us- the ability of women to control what happens to their own bodies cannot be separated from their role in and impact on society.

It's clear how this impacts the woman but, does it impact the rest of us? More than you might think.

Across all nations and regions- there is a very strong correlation between the protection of women's reproductive rights and increased economic and socio-political development for everyone- not just the woman or their family or their community- EVERYONE.

SGUW rice farmers

To understand why access to these rights is such a powerful force, we need to know what they are.

It's simple, really - Reproductive Rights are:

When a woman can plan where, when and if to have a child, they can also plan where, when and if to work at a particular job, move to a city, get an education, spend their resources, and fulfill their dreams.

The data shows, policies that allow women to access reproductive health options- result in - more women in the workforce, more women decision makers in government, more women business leaders, artists, educators, etc... This makes for a more equitable society and economy while simultaneously raising the success of the woman, her children, and her nation.

You get the picture- this is a very powerful societal, cultural and economic change maker.

(And, leaders that support access to reproductive health know this as well as those who do not- I'm looking at you United States Supreme Court.)

Now, lets zoom out and look at the current state of reproductive rights globally:

  1. 44 per cent of women with a partner cannot exercise bodily autonomy – meaning they are unable to make their own decisions over their health care, contraception and whether or not to have sex. (Depending on where you are in the world, a variety of factors obstruct women's personal autonomy including laws, traditions, religion, and gender roles.)

  2. Nearly half of all pregnancies are unintended. (Even though modern contraception has been available for generations.)

  3. 500,000 births every year are to girls between10 to 14 years old.

  4. As few as one quarter to one third of women in low- and middle-income regions are having the number of children they planned, at the speed that they planned – if they even planned on having them at all.

As we move toward International Women's Day on March 8th, please donate to SGUW to support our work in Sierra Leone empowering and educating women and girls to exercise their personal autonomy, access reproductive health and know their rights. Our work is crucial to ensure the future success of the communities where we work, Sierra Leone, Africa and ultimately- the whole world.

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