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Devin D. Thorpe

Devin Thorpe

SPOTLIGHT on International Women’s Day: Women Are Breaking Cultural Barriers To Family Planning To Empower Other Women Around The World

Press Release – This International Women’s Day, consider the stories of three passionate women making waves in international family planning through their commitment to breaking the cultural contexts & barriers that surround them…

“I come from the most fortunate background of being granted the right to make a choice. I chose when to get married, I chose when to have my children, and I chose how many children to have. I knew about my reproductive health rights and had access to the information and services. In contrast, more than 80% of my fellow Ethiopian women live in the country sides where they do not have such access. But when women are in charge of their own family planning, everybody wins,” says Dagmawit Girmay the Deputy Country Director for DKT Ethiopia. Dagmawit has been at DKT Ethiopia for ten years, working closely with the Ethiopian Ministry of Health and opening the necessary dialogue to advance more equitable policy on family planning and reproductive health rights.

“With the global conversation in recent years around intersectional feminism, it is important for me especially as a person of color to acknowledge the specific barriers faced by women in different cultural contexts and backgrounds such as Myanmar. I’m proud that my work at DKT Myanmar not only provides Myanmar women a range of contraceptive options, but also advances conversations around female sexuality and pleasure, autonomy and consent, and women-centered decision making,” says Tisha Gopalakrishnan, Senior Manager of Programs and Operations at DKT Myanmar who supervises their medical team and oversees the supply chain process for their female contraceptive product line, Lydia.

“Women inherently have the deepest understanding of the challenges that exist around using contraception and can use that to their advantage when working in this field. For me, being a woman also means that my female colleagues can more easily open up to me about their experiences with contraception or the experiences of their friends and family. Being able to openly talk about our individual experiences helps us to better understand the challenges women face and allows us to be more effective in reaching them with our products and service,” says Lauren Archer of DKT Indonesia. Lauren has recently joined DKT Indonesia after working with the DKT program in North India for 1.5 years.

Every DKT country program uses social marketing to give more women access to family planning in a way that is sustainable and effective. In 2017, DKT International delivered 36 million couples with contraceptives, an increase of 3 million from 2016.

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