Family planning vital for gender equality, women empowerment, says minister

KUALA LUMPUR, July 10 — Family planning is important for gender equality and empowerment of women besides a key factor to reduce poverty and improve family well-being.
Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Rohani Abdul Karim said access to reproductive health, including family planning, was among the Sustainable Development Goals for the period 2015 to 2030.
“The Population and Family Survey series conducted by the National Population and Family Development Board revealed the rate of contraceptive used among married women, aged 15 to 49, has risen from 36 per cent in 1974 to 52 per cent in 1984.
“The rate continues to remain at that level in 2014 when the government changed the core of the programme from family planning to family development,” she said in a statement in conjunction with World Population Day tomorrow themed “Family Planning: People Empowerment, Nation-building”.
The celebration is organised by the United Nations since 1989.
Rohani said one out of five women in the country who wanted to avoid getting pregnant were found to have unmet contraceptive needs on family planning.
“The level of contraceptive use in Malaysia is also much lower than the rate recorded globally, which is at 64 per cent,” she said.
Rohani said, in conjunction with World Population Day 2017 celebration, a community programme dubbed Ecofamily 2017 would be held throughout this month to enhance the well-being of families and local communities.
The programme will be implemented in 14 selected communities in the Family and Community Empowerment programme nationwide, which commences in Beaufort, Sabah on July 14.
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