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Aspen Institute Panel Speakers Call For Increased Aid For Women To Help Plan Families

A panel hosted by the Aspen Institute’s Global Leaders Council on Monday called for “a boost of aid for women in developing countries such as Somalia to help them control their fertility,” Agence France-Presse reports. “Somalia has the eighth highest birth rate in the world, and the average family has seven children,” the news agency notes, adding that “one percent of married women in Somalia have access to modern contraception, … according to data compiled by the Population Reference Bureau.”

“Somali women are not alone,” panel member Geoff Dabelko, director of the Woodrow Wilson Center’s Environmental Change and Security Program, said, adding, “More than 215 million women around the world want to plan their families, yet lack access to modern contraception,” AFP writes (10/17). Mary Robinson, former president of Ireland and chair of the council, and Walid Abdelkarim, principal officer and team leader for Somalia and support to the African Union at the U.N. Department of Peacekeeping Operations, also participated in the panel, according to an Aspen Institute press release (10/17).