Reproductive care helps women adapt to the climate crisis
Women face social, economic and other barriers that prevent them from coping and recovering from natural disasters. They’re also less likely to be included in decision-making following an environmental catastrophe. Our program in Madagascar is working to change this, addressing the climate crisis’s harmful effects on women.
Madagascar is home to 25.5 million people. Sixty-five percent of the population lives in rural areas, almost half are under 18 and 75% live in poverty. In many areas of Madagascar, limited access to contraception and other reproductive health care fuels poverty, leaving women and their children vulnerable.
Madagascar is also one of the world’s biodiversity hot spots. Unfortunately, its diverse ecosystem and extraordinary wildlife population are increasingly threatened. The island’s geographic location makes it vulnerable to the negative impacts of the climate crisis — increased flooding and erosion in some areas, and increased drought in others.
Blue Ventures, a marine conservation organization, found that about 25% of women in isolated coastal communities have limited access to contraception. They also found that this led to poor health, which restricted women’s ability to engage in managing marine resources.
These communities need reproductive healthcare, and our Madagascar program works to provide it. We made comprehensive reproductive health education part of Blue Ventures’ existing programming in Mikea National Park.
We know that our work is more vital than ever because when women can voluntarily access contraception, they become more resilient — enabling them to adapt to the effects of the climate crisis. In response to the rapidly changing environment, we aim to help women take control of their own health and lives, which in turn contributes to efforts to improve the health of their environment.
In Mikea National Park, women now lead 44% of sea cucumber farms and 55% of seaweed farms thanks to improved access to reproductive healthcare. With greater income and participation in community activities, women have more say in household and community decision-making, allowing them to have an active role in re-building communities after natural disaster strikes.
Please donate today to help communities like those in Mikea National Park gain access to contraception and become more resilient to the climate crisis.