Women for Conservation was born from our commitment to empower women in impoverished areas of Colombia while simultaneously protecting rare and endemic wildlife.
While meeting with local women from these rural areas, a common and important theme arose: they desperately wanted access to family planning to control the frequency of their pregnancies, yet their remote location made it difficult and unaffordable to travel to health clinics that offer these services.
We immediately recognized the multitude of benefits to be achieved by delivering family planning services to these communities, both in terms of empowering women and supporting conservation.
Alleviating Poverty and Lifting Up Women
Throughout the world’s poorest countries, millions of women want to use contraceptives but are unable to obtain them. This results in women and girls becoming pregnant much earlier and more often than they want, creating unexpectedly large families with many children in households that have very limited resources.
However, with access to birth control and knowledge about family planning, women are able to space out childbirths and avoid unplanned pregnancies. Child survival rates increase, as well as maternal health, and each child suddenly has more opportunity to receive the proper food, nutrition, care and education needed to thrive – allowing families to escape poverty.
Sustainable Population Growth to Save Wildlife
One of the greatest threats to conservation is a growing human population, which places excessive demands on natural resources that our Earth is unable to sustain. During the past century alone, the human population suddenly soared – more than 7.5 billion people currently inhabit the planet. In striking contrast, there were fewer than one billion people for 10,000+ years prior to the 1800s. This recent extraordinary growth, paired with modern tendencies for overconsumption, has placed the future of our planet at great peril. Fortunately, improving access to contraceptives can curb unsustainable population growth.
At Women for Conservation, our efforts focus on introducing family planning to communities in critical biodiversity hotspots, where preserving natural habitats and resources is key to saving unique species on the edge of extinction. We are coordinating with women’s groups in four communities throughout Colombia to introduce affordable access to birth control. In doing so, we seek to empower more than 100 women and girls, increasing their future opportunities, while alleviating poverty and protecting endangered wildlife and their habitats.
Donate today to make this urgent work possible.