Universal Access Project Executive Director Seema Jalan, a leading advocate for global women’s reproductive rights, has joined the nonprofit funders’ network Rachel’s Network as a Leadership Liaison. The Universal Access Project, a project of the United Nations Foundation, convenes a unique and innovative community of donors and NGOs to strengthen US support for access to family planning and reproductive health care globally.
225 million women in developing countries simply want to avoid getting pregnant but face barriers accessing something that costs on average $25/per person per year to deliver. Seema Jalan, executive director of the Universal Access Project and Policy at the United Nations Foundation, explains how family planning services have allowed one man in Uganda to pursue his gift for environmental entrepreneurship, creating positive ripple effects in his community.
No group does more to reduce unintended pregnancy than Planned Parenthood, says Rachel’s Network Member Janet Miller. Anyone who believes in providing women with high-quality reproductive health care — and who supports eliminating the need for abortion in the first place — should insist that Planned Parenthood remain funded.
In 1987 the UN designated July 11th World Population Day to build awareness of the impact population has on development and the environment. As of this writing, the world population is estimated to be 7.239 billion. Roughly 40% is under the age of 25. The UN estimates we will grow to 9.5 billion by 2050. We are at a critical moment in history. If population growth continues as projected, living conditions will become bleaker; and water, food and land will become scarcer.
Population has long been perceived as a complicated issue for the environmental community. An estimated 215 million women in the developing world want to plan their families but lack access to modern contraception, causing strain on communities and ecosystems. By the meeting’s end, members gained a fresh perspective on the interconnected issues of population, environment, and women’s empowerment and the urgent need to ensure women around the world have access to basic health services.