Unintended pregnancies disproportionately disadvantage women and girls, and this disproportionate impact is both a cause and an effect of gender inequality. By increasing choice and access to contraceptive methods, male contraception has the potential to increase gender equality.
Girls who experience an unintended pregnancy while still in school have a significantly lower likelihood of attending and completing high school than girls who do not, and diminished opportunities for the physical and emotional growth, knowledge and life skills, self-confidence, and better health and economic outcomes that education supports.
Male contraceptives can facilitate greater educational and employment opportunities as well as increased earning capacity for women and girls through catalyzing changes in interpersonal and societal gender dynamics. Male contraceptives could also be a game-changer for increasing contraceptive and gender equity, and the empowerment of women and girls, as well as men and boys.
At a broader level, maintaining that responsibility for contraception rests primarily with women and girls perpetuates the idea of children as a ‘female’ responsibility that extends to the provision of child care after birth. Giving males the opportunity to participate more fully in family planning could translate into a more equitable division of reproductive as well as household responsibilities, which would enable women and girls to increase their participation in education and employment outside of the home.
That is why it’s so important to invest in new male contraceptives.
- UNESCO’s “Early and unintended pregnancy: recommendations for the education sector”
- World Bank’s “Gender Inequality and Economic Growth”
- Guttmacher Institute’s “Women’s Empowerment and Choice of Contraceptive Methods in Selected African Countries”
- Guttmacher Institute’s “Couples' Fertility and Contraceptive Decision-Making In Developing Countries: Hearing the Man's Voice”