June 22, 2012 in General Leave a reply

Save the Children’s latest campaign to stop children dying aims to give women the power to decide whether and when to have children. Because family planning isn’t just a lifestyle choice, children’s lives depend on it.

When girls can delay pregnancy until their bodies are ready – fewer children die; when women can space their pregnancies, fewer children die.

And when more children survive, women have fewer children and families become smaller. Children get to grow up in a world where there’s more to go around.

I’ve met numerous young girls on my assignments from Liberia to Pakistan who’ve had no choice whether or not they have children. They didn’t have contraception at their finger tips – and they certainly weren’t empowered to make that choice even if contraception had been available. My heart went out to girls like Josephine – pictured in the photo I took that is spear heading the campaign.

Josephine, from Liberia, was only 16 when I photographed her, and nine months pregnant. The father of her child left when he found out she was expecting his child. She told me, ‘Right now I don’t know anything about babies – I’ll be depending on my mum for help.’

Liberia has some of the worst child and maternal mortality rates in the world. One in nine children dies before their fifth birthday. And one in 100 pregnant women dies during pregnancy or childbirth.

That’s shocking.

Giving girls poor power can change this. The power to control their own lives and bodies. The power to plan their families.

Click here to sign Save the Children’s petition to highlight how important this issue is to the British public.

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