The Stream

What makes family planning controversial in some African nations?

Critics say reproductive health organisations are pushing a Western agenda.

In some African countries, reproductive health organisations say they are improving maternal health and empowering women to have greater freedom in their lives to decide when they bear children. But critics say family planning programmes, which are often funded by foreign philanthropy groups, are pushing a Western agenda and promote ideas that might be at odds with local culture. One UN-sponsored initiative, Family Planning, has a target of getting 120 million women and girls – particularly from Africa – to use contraceptives by 2020. 

Family planning can refer to a wide range of services, including reproductive health education, the promotion of ideas like “child spacing”, greater access to birth control pills and implantable devices, emergency contraceptives, or even elective sterilisation procedures.

What are the challenges in promoting family planning ideas in African countries?

What do you think? Record a video comment for leave your thoughts below.

On this episode of The Stream, we speak with:

Obianuju Ekeocha @obianuju
Founder, Culture of Life Africa

Karen Kaz Lucas @Karenkazlucas
Host, The Spread Podcast

Alex Ezeh @aezeh
Professor of Global Health, Drexel University

George Wirnkar @HumanLifeIntnl
Regional Director, Human Life International

Read more:
Why family planning matters for maternal deaths and child survival  – The Conversation
The West is colonizing Africa with abortion and population control, Obianuju Ekeocha says – Christian Post