Helping women move out of poverty by planning their child birth.

In Sub Saharan Africa, 68% of rural households live below the poverty line and female led households experience even higher rates of poverty. The effects of poverty are compounded by the traditionally large families and a lack of education in the region around family planning

Family planning is key to slowing population growth and the resulting negative impacts on the economy and environment. Due to a lack of education and resources, (when compared to developed countries like the UK) there are still women in the developing world who are unable to exercise their rights over their bodies because they can’t access contraception.

Family planning also has a significant role in improving the health of the mother and the child by reducing the number of unintended pregnancies, thus reducing the maternal and infant mortality rate. Family planning empowers mothers; enables them to send their children to school, to economise effectively which creates savings and gives them the freedom to make decisions regarding their futures.

During our recent field visit to Togo, we were fortunate to be able to join a talk on family planning, provided by our field partner IADES. A visiting midwife, Aziable Essenam, came to speak to members of the Lancouvé group from the outskirts of Lomé. At least 15 women came to learn about the advantages of taking contraception and the importance of sexual and reproductive health. Training and group sessions like the one we attended, empower women to change their attitudes and practices towards family planning.

In Western society, we take it for granted that women can start a family whenever they feel ready; when she feels old enough, when she has finished her education, when she is financially stable, or when she has a career. In the UK it is a firm belief that having children is very much a woman’s decision. Sadly, this is not the case for the majority of women living in Sub-Saharan Africa, where as many as one in five women have an unmet need for family planning.

One mother from the group, bravely shared her own personal experience of having a contraceptive implant fitted, the control and freedom this gave her and how she was able to get on with her life without worrying about getting pregnant. 

A few years later, she and her husband were able to make the decision to start a family and they went on to have a healthy little girl, who was playing happily by her mother’s side during the session.  

Giving women the opportunity to make decisions about if and when to have children gives them independence from their husband and the ability to make decisions about their futures.

 It is that independence which gives them dignity and self-empowerment. 

 All of the groups on Deki’s website receive training alongside their loans – on gender equality and women’s rights, managing loan capital, understanding repayment schedules, growing their business and family planning. 

By supporting Deki you are enabling women in Togo to work their way out of poverty – a hand up not a handout.

“Family planning is about women’s rights and their capacity to make decisions about their health and wellbeing. It is a most significant investment to promote human capital development, combat poverty and harness a demographic dividend, thus contributing to equitable and sustainable economic development.” Babatunde Osotimehin, executive director of the UN Population Fund

Help us bring family planning to more remote communities