Decision makers are suddenly recognizing that investing in women should be a global priority. What’s driving this thinking? The appreciation that investing in women not only makes sense from a humanitarian perspective, it makes sense from an economic perspective. Womenomics – a term being used to describe this phenomenon, is suddenly very popular. Why is investing in women so impactful?
For one very basic reason: WOMEN INVEST IN THEIR FAMILIES
As Melinda Gates said in a recent TIME article, “When we invest in women, we invest in the people who invest in everyone else.”
But what does it mean to invest in women? There are a lot of issues to address – education, nutrition, healthcare, gender equality, employment, etc. They are all important. But at the very basic level, women must first have control of their bodies.
Family planning is key to improving the lives of women.
Investing in family planning enables a woman to have children when – and if – she wants them. It reduces family size, increases income, improves her health and the health of all of her children. In short, having fewer children and having children only when she is ready, enables a woman to better take care of herself and her entire family.
Consider some of these interesting statistics:
According to The Copenhagen Consensus which did a cost-benefit analysis on global aid initiatives, investing in universal access to sexual and reproductive health could have benefits as high as 130 to 1. This means that for every $1 invested in family planning, reproductive and maternal health, society receives $130 of benefit in return.
For every percentage point of fertility reduction, per capita GDP growth will likely increase by .25%. (Source: DFID)
Women who have access to contraception typically make 40% more than women who do not (Source: PAI)
Imagine what a different world this would be if every single child had a mother (and better yet a father too) who could provide for them, care for them, and educate them. Many of the issues we deal with today – poverty, crime, disease, violence, and pollution – could be greatly improved.
Cycle Technologies is a private company focused on addressing the needs of women around the world with effective, sustainable family planning options. We’ve zeroed in on the issue of preventing unplanned pregnancies because we believe that by reducing unplanned pregnancies, and helping women have children only when they are ready, we are giving women the ability to change the world.
Investing in women is the RIGHT thing to do; it improves the world not just for that woman, but for all of us.