“All couples and individuals have the right to decide freely and responsibly the number and spacing of their children and to have access to the information and means to do so.” (United Nations Population Fund).
Investing in family planning today will not only pay dividends now, but will also help history’s largest generation of young people forge a brighter future. Now is the time to take action.
Family planning is emphasised across the world, especially with the continuous rise in population. In 2010, the world’s population surpassed seven billion; there are an estimated 270 births every second with only 90 deaths to match. This means there is an estimated growth of 180 people worldwide every second.
Whether we realise it yet or not, we all have a role to play. We must work to protect the health, wellbeing and rights of those living on our planet while ensuring that individuals can plan their families and contribute to the balance between our numbers and resource use.
South African view
Family planning is key to reducing the unacceptably high mother, infant and child deaths in South Africa. Health Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi launched a campaign to revive the use of family planning in the country and free contraceptives are now available at public sector health care facilities. Yet family planning is not just about couples – it also affects the health and socio-economic development of our entire nation.
Planning a family is one of the most important decisions you will make. It involves a great deal of thought and consideration regarding finances, your plans for the future and your desired family dynamics.
Using contraception and setting money aside for unseen hardships during times of prosperity will help you avoid the financial anxiety that an unplanned pregnancy may bring.
Whether you want two children, no children or twenty children, family planning will help you decide what is right for your family, based on the specific needs of each member. It will help you decide on the type of home you can afford in a particular area and what kind of schools your children will be able to attend.
For many working families, a single income is not enough to sustain the financial burden. If both parents in a household work, it’s vital that the spare time each has is spent nurturing the growth of their children. This becomes increasingly more difficult as more children are added to the household.
Working towards a diploma, degree or other qualification takes time, energy and money; planning your family according to these demands will enable you to complete your education quicker, with much less stress, worry and guilt.