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International Community Must Address Barriers To Health, Economic Well-Being Of Women

“Within a few days, thousands of members of the global family planning community will come together in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to talk about ways to advance the health and economic well-being of women worldwide by improving the delivery of family planning services and information,” James Gribble, a principal associate and expert in monitoring and evaluation, reproductive health and family planning at Abt Associates, writes in a Devex opinion piece. Gribble highlights “four barriers or practices that must end to address the health and well-being of individuals, families, and nations”: a lack of education among women and girls; “economic inequalities for women, such as limiting inheritance or owning property”; a preference for boys over girls in some societies; and the issue of child marriage, “which is deeply rooted in many social and cultural norms and is heavily influenced by poverty.” He writes, “[W]e must recommit to addressing the persistent social policies and gender norms that continue to keep women on unequal footing,” and he concludes, “Let’s put women at the center of policies — addressing everything from economic opportunity to education — to truly achieve a world where women can reach their full potential” (11/7).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.