In the News: “Why 222 million women can’t get the birth control they need”

867 million women living in developing countries want to avoid becoming pregnant, but around 222 million of them have unmet contraceptive needs. Every year on September 26, World Contraception Day seeks to draw attention to this gaping chasm in the landscape of contraceptive use, and to promote awareness of family planning methods so that all women can make informed choices about their sexual health. Ensuring equal contraceptive access can quite literally be a matter of life and death: everyday, approximately 800 women die from causes related to pregnancy and childbirth.

The forces preventing millions of women from accessing contraceptives vary from region to region, country to country. Unsurprisingly, a key obstacle is often a lack of funds. “Some contraceptives are still very expensive,” says Jagdish Upadhyay, Head of Reproductive Health Commodity Security and Family Planning at the United Nations Population Fund. “To provide [those] kind of resources, which can run into millions of dollars for countries, it’s a big challenge. Then you have to build a whole supply chain … to the facility so they can be distributed.”

Read the full story on the New York Times’ Women in the World blog.