Case study: Family Planning, Senegal

Perhaps the best way to describe the importance of family planning is this: Achieving the family planning goal makes it more likely that we’ll achieve virtually every other Sustainable Development Goal.

Poverty. Maternal mortality. Child mortality. Education. Gender equity. They all get better when women can plan their pregnancies so they are physically and economically ready when they have a child.

But norms around sex and family life are powerful. In many countries, families haven’t typically planned. The work of giving them options is not just technical—raising more funding, developing new products, and repairing broken systems. It’s also deeply cultural.

Despite these challenges, many developing countries have started to prioritize family planning, because they understand the impact it has. In the past several years, more than 40 countries have launched rigorous national family planning plans.

We asked two people instrumental in one of the most successful family planning programs, in Senegal, to write about their experience. Fatimata Sy is director for the coordination unit of the Ouagadougou Partnership, an alliance of the nine francophone West African countries committed to reaching more women in the region with family planning information and services. Imam Moussé Fall, a founder of the Islamic Network on Population, helps his fellow imams think about how family planning fits into their theology.

Together, Mrs. Sy and Imam Fall demonstrate both the breadth and depth of work necessary to make sure all families can make decisions to unlock their full potential.

Read full article on globalgoals.org

By Bill and Melinda Gates