Pathfinder: Working to Break Down Barriers

Pathfinder President, Purnima Mane, visits clients in the field

Some of you may have seen our No Joke. Choice Matters. Everywhere. video we just released. The satire is funny, but the reality is not. There are still far too many barriers for women—and men!—who want to access sexual and reproductive health care. From the distance women have to travel for services, to stock outs, to cultural barriers, women are not getting what they need.

I still remember the despondency of a young woman I worked with as a social worker in the slums of Mumbai—a mother of two girls at the age of 19. As I sat with her, she told me stoically that she would have to continue to submit to childbirth despite the family poverty and her own failing health until she could produce a male offspring. Cultural pressures and lack of access to quality health care left her without a choice. It left her without the right to make a decision about her body, and stuck in a cycle of poor health and wellbeing. Choice matters. Everywhere. That’s why we created the video.

The memory of her, the 220 million women just like her across the globe who still lack access to contraception, and my deep belief in the importance of respecting every woman’s right to choose motivates me and drives my work here at Pathfinder.

I’m happy to say that I see an opportunity to turn the tide toward empowerment for women like the young mother I met so many years ago. Following the London Family Planning Summit(which had incredible attendance from civil society, international organizations, world leaders and individuals), I feel energized by the commitments we came together as a community to make in support of universal access to family planning and reproductive justice.

As my colleague Tewodros Melesse from IPPF said, “The London Summit on Family Planning was a celebration of decades of work, a very public statement of principles and new political will, a commitment of funds, and a call to arms.”

I couldn’t agree more. And now we must turn words into action. We must continue to affirm the rights of all people to enjoy a healthy sexual and reproductive life and to bolster the political will to act with and in support of women everywhere. We need to continue to discuss what challenges exist, and think outside the box to find solutions which work for the communities who need them. Although hundreds of people gathered in London for the Family Planning Summit, there are thousands more who do not yet know what women are encountering every day nor that there are very real benefits of protecting women’s rights to reproductive health—healthier women, healthier communities, healthier children, more productive economies.

Pathfinder is already working to break down the barriers to women’s access of reproductive health services. Through a combination of direct service provision, political advocacy, and community driven social change programs, Pathfinder is able to facilitate lasting improvements in sexual and reproductive health and rights. Remember the woman in the video who was unable to receive contraception because her husband wasn’t with her? In communities around the world, with Pathfinder’s assistance, governments have ceased such requirements, men have decided they are comfortable with women choosing their own method of birth control, and women have gained the ability and confidence to speak up for their own needs. Moreover, in such communities Pathfinder has supported and empowered women and men to provide contraceptives as well as teach their neighbors and friends the benefits of supporting women’s right to access family planning when they wish to.

But, it’s not enough. And that’s why we need your voice. Tell me and tell Pathfinder what else can be done to meet the needs of millions of women around the world who still live without enjoyment of basic human rights and choice over what happens to their bodies. How can the entire global community who are dedicated to ensuring sexual and reproductive health and rights maintain the momentum begun in London? We need your ideas and your voices. Tell us, or tell your friends, your representatives, your family about the importance of truly supporting women, and the need to contribute resources and political will to meeting the unmet need for reproductive health services.

I invite you to think outside the box, and join the conversation in the comments below.

Purnima Mane

Purnima Mane is Pathfinder's President and Chief Executive Officer. She oversees more than 1,000 staff around the world, an annual budget exceeding $100 million, and sexual and reproductive health programs in more than 20 developing countries.

Leave a Comment

* Change

Comments

Me and my friend were arguing about an issue similar to this! Now I know that I was right.Thanks for the information you post. I just subscribe your blog. This is a nice blog. functions of foreign exchange market Thanks:)
brokerforex April 14, 2014
I worked with as a social worker in the slums of Mumbai—a mother of two girls at the age of 19 http://ifour.co.uk/
jimmy April 13, 2014
it was going to be some boring old post, but it really compensated for my time.best shampoo for hair loss
best shampoo for hair loss April 12, 2014
From the distance women have to travel for services, to stock outs, to cultural barriers, women are not getting what they need.gclub casino
gclub casino April 10, 2014
ou really provide me with such a useful article. It has a lot of new information, knowledge, and also easy to understand Erik Gunn
jimmy April 10, 2014
Thanks a lot for this contribution! It's been very useful for me. Everything is very open and represents very clear explanation of issues.nemesis copper mod
nemesis copper mod April 10, 2014
I find this blogger an inspiration and is definitley worth following. social anxiety treatment
social anxiety treatment April 8, 2014
Analyze email campaigns with in depth, real-time reports and analytics is bubblegum casting legitimate
jimmy April 8, 2014
I have been seeking information on this topic for the past few hours and found your post to be well written and has solid information.http://trekasie.com/en
sad April 7, 2014
I worked with as a social worker in the slums of Mumbai—a mother of two girls at the age of 19. model mayhem
model mayhem April 7, 2014
I'm trying to learn you language, but still cant understand it fluently. Audio Editing Software Free Download
Audio Editing Software Free Download April 7, 2014
I fully appreciate your site post. Your post offered me some amazing information Audacity Audio Software Free Download
Audacity Audio Software Free Download April 7, 2014
There is no paradise on earth equal to the union of love and innocence.Each moment in history is a fleeting time , precious and unique. vlc player download
sad April 6, 2014
This is something that someone wants to find in his general search, especially when talking about natural! like this! ny criminal defense lawyer
ny criminal defense lawyer April 2, 2014
Your site contains useful information on this topic. I have so many things through your newsletters. I am really thankful to you for sharing such a valuable Thanks. is bubblegum casting legitimate
is bubblegum casting legitimate April 1, 2014
Tell us, or tell your friends, your representatives, your family about the importance of truly supporting women, and the need to contribute resources and political will to meeting the unmet need for reproductive health services. Discover Recenter Your Life
jimmy March 29, 2014
The importance of respecting every woman’s right to choose motivates me and drives my work here at Pathfinder.is bubblegum casting legitimate
is bubblegum casting legitimate March 29, 2014
those rules were being truly functioning as well as had been really practical with regard to people, while according such requirements best place for free psn codes receive total discount ps system loans. you consider anyone men may additionally acquire a number of zero cost playstation networks limitations with regard to a person
http://getfreepsncodeseasy.com March 27, 2014
“The London Summit on Family Planning was a celebration of decades of work, a very public statement of principles and new political will, a commitment of funds, and a call to arms.” iherb
Planning March 27, 2014
I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. Allectio Cyprus Tips what does bubblegum casting do
jimmy March 23, 2014
Scroll to top