According to a study by UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, at least 200 million women worldwide have no regular access to contraceptives. This results in unwanted pregnancies and the risk of spreading STDs.
The German magazine DER SPIEGEL reports online that the UNFPA study could only be carried out in 51 countries, as most countries in the world do not collect the necessary data for the analysis. The organization found that only 57 percent of women living in a relationship and in one of the countries represented had access to contraceptives. Similar poor results were found in regard to sexual self-determination and access to health care.
The Philippines and Ukraine are exemplary in the UNFPA survey. (Germany was not included in the analysis). Mali, Niger, and Senegal, which at the same time belong to the poorest countries in the world, are at the bottom of the list. Only about seven percent of women there has access to contraceptives.
Poverty as the biggest hurdle
The decisive factor in both developing and developed countries is the question of whether a woman is poor or rich. It is clear that the poorer a woman is, the less likely she is to have access to contraceptives.
Natalia Kanem is the managing director of the Population Fund. She condemns these conditions and points out that women who do not have access to contraceptives also have little say or power in society. They cannot organize basic questions of their own life or make their own decisions about their bodies.
Global trend positive
While these figures give cause for concern, the overall development is positive globally. In 1969, only 24% of women had access to contraceptives. This figure has more than doubled.