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Friday, April 24, 2015


Gender equality: while we have come along way to an equal path for both men and women, there is still much work to be done. The United Nations' new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are being finalized at this very moment with much talk and recognition being on equality for women within the developing world. It is within this goal that brings attention to women having adequate access to education and tools for sexual and reproductive health; the choice to choose their family size, according to Sarah Shaw. 

Sarah Shaw is the author of the Guardian's article: "Sustainable development must prioritise women's sexual health" and states that the governments around the world are now accepting the fact that the key to achieving a world without poverty, is the rights of women and their sexual and reproductive health. Having access to adequate women's healthcare services is of great importance, as well as educating them. Most cannot deny this fact. Women are the foundation of our society, they give birth to us and they should have the same rights as men do when it comes to their health and well-being, amongst many other rights they deserve, but do not receive at this present time. 

While there is much talk - Shaw goes on to suggest - between now and September, while in discussions of the post-2015 development proposals, there is no guarantee that the references of sexual and reproductive health will remain in the original document. And so it begins, the push to continue the talk and public opinion on the importance of this crucial issue. Equality of rights has come far, lets continue the push to empower women. To not, would mean the utter breakdown of the new Sustainable Development Goals and continue the existence of deprivation and poverty throughout the Global South. 

Larsson et al. in their journal: "Women's Education, Empowerment, and Contraceptive Use in Sub-Saharan Africa: Findings From Recent Demographic and Health Surveys" echo the need for better sexual and reproductive healthcare services. 

According to Larsson et al., fertility remains higher and contraceptive levels are substantially lower in sub-Saharan Africa than anywhere else in the developing world. In their paper, the authors used information on individuals and couples from recent Demographic and Health Surveys that took place in Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, and Zambia. They used both a bivariate and multivariate method to examining the determinant of contraceptive use among married women (age 15-49), with special emphasis on women's education and empowerment. 

The results indicated that education was an important determinant of contraceptive use, but mattered less in choice of method effectiveness. The overall impact of education was similar in all countries studied, except for Kenya, where it was non-existent. Empowerment of women was less important in determining contraceptive use. 

It is suggested within the study that efforts to increase contraceptive use in general and the use of modern methods needs to be addressed. Specifically, emphasis needs to be taken on providing basic education for all women and on changing gender roles.   

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