From the Desk of Our Executive Director

Empowering women with contraception is key reducing poverty and climate change

"Empowering women is key to building a future we want,” wrote the Nobel-prize winning Indian economist and philosopher, Amartya Sen. A critical piece of a woman’s empowerment is her ability to choose the size of her family. World Contraception Day is September 26th and I believe all of us who are concerned about reducing and, ultimately, eliminating extreme poverty should use this as a reminder to focus on this critical issue.

Our founder Peter Singer, who is concerned about the impact of rapid population growth on efforts to eliminate extreme poverty as well as on the environment, shared these four facts with me in preparation for this month’s newsletter.

  • The world's population is headed for 9.7 billion by 2050 and 10.9 billion by 2100.

  • More than half of the growth between now and 2050 will come in sub-Saharan Africa. 18 of the world's least developed countries, all in sub-Saharan Africa, are expected to at least double their populations by 2050. One of these countries, Niger, is projected to nearly triple its population during that period. This growth is a major challenge to the goal of ending extreme poverty.

  • More than 220 million fertile women who say that they do not want to become pregnant are having sexual intercourse without the use of modern contraceptives.

  • It has been shown in many countries that the more years of education a girl receives, the fewer children she is likely to have.

I am pleased that The Life You Can Save recommends Population Services International (PSI), which prioritizes contraception access as its key program. Living Goods and Possible also provide contraception information and products to the extreme poor. A donation to these organizations that is additional to your normal donations would be a wonderful way to celebrate World Contraception Day!

Do Good. Feel Good.

Charlie Bresler

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