At PAI, women are at the center of everything we do. We know that in developing countries, 222 million of them can’t get the family planning they want. We live in a time of exciting, eye-opening change. In all corners of the globe, women are staying in school, stepping into the paid workforce, and making strides toward equality. Family planning is helping them do it. But we still have a great deal to do.
What We Saw in 2012 and What We Want to See
An organized opposition in Congress waged relentless attacks on reproductive health both domestically and internationally, with attempts to cut overall family planning funding, re-impose the harmful Global Gag Rule, and zero out funding for the United Nations Population Fund. PAI led the way in fending off these cuts, making more than 675 advocacy contacts with influencers and political leaders within Congress and the Executive Branch staff.
Holding the line is not enough. In the next 10 years, we want to double annual worldwide funding for family planning and reproductive health. That means persuading the U.S. to pay its fair share of $1 billion annually for international family planning.
We have ambitious work ahead, but our shoulder is to the wheel. First, there are numerous opportunities, especially at the national level, to get family planning into the hands of more women who want it. That means tackling legal barriers, making sure supplies get to the women who need them, and that skilled health workers are on the ground, in key communities.
We know we need to be in certain communities for the long haul. In the coming year, we are going to focus on priority countries in the developing world, where the challenges women face are substantial, but the potential is tremendous. Over the next three years, we anticipate investing in 10 countries where we will build lasting partnerships and make meaningful progress in closing the gap. We’ve already selected the first three countries—Kenya, Guatemala and Malawi—and are in the process of designing what these in-depth and on-the-ground programs will look like.
Our goals are ambitious, and we know we need a bigger and stronger PAI to make them a reality. PAI is on track to being the best-known and most-respected organization that advocates for global family planning and reproductive health. We have the vision; now we’ll focus on securing the resources to make it happen.