family planning methods are key to gender equality and livelihood improvement

family planning methods are key to gender equality and livelihood improvement

DILI, 26 september 2022 (TATOLI)— The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) reveals that access to family planning and sexual reproductive health services is critical to ensuring gender equality and improving livelihoods.

A statement issued by UNFP on monday said an estimated 257 million women do not have access to safe and effective family planning methods globally.

The same study by UNFPA on the Impact of COVID-19 on Family Planning found that nearly 12 million women in 115 countries lost access to family planning services, leading to 1.4 million unwanted pregnancies and disruptions caused by COVID-19.

Meanwhile, in Timor-Leste, more than half of women marry at childbearing age (15-49) and have expressed a desire to distance themselves or limit the number of children they have. However, almost one in three women aged 15 to 49 have unmet family planning needs.

Joanzinha Gura da Costa, a 22-year-old mother of two children, said the lack of access to family planning meant delaying her education.

It is recommended that a woman should wait until her last child is at least two years old before becoming pregnant again to maintain her health and the health of her child.

“I got married when I was in the second year of study at a private university in Dili. Where my husband also goes to college. I was 20 years old at the time and had to stop my studies when I became pregnant. My first daughter was born in July 2019 and my second daughter was born in July 2020. So, the difference is less than one year,” said Joazinha Gura in a statement.

“When I see my classmates going to school, I feel very sad and almost lose hope for the future. However, after my second daughter was born, my parents and husband advised me to use contraception so that I could continue my studies and for a better distance,” she said.

He added “I went to the Becora Health Center in September 2020 to speak to a health care provider and was counseled about the benefits of using family planning and the options available. I chose to use the injection method and made it back to university to continue my studies. Now I am in my final year of study,” She said.

Meanwhile, on the 25th anniversary of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) held in Nairobi, Kenya in 2019, Timor-Leste was part of the 179 governments that adopted an important Program of Action and represented great support that secures reproductive health, individual and women’s empowerment is the duty of every state and society.



Journalist: Camilo de Sousa

Editor: Nelia B.


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