News & Views

Council Commentary

IWD 2016: Pursuing the Evidence, Pushing the Boundaries

Today there are close to 515 million in the developing world. Fifteen years ago, the Population Council’s landmark publication, The Uncharted Passage, demonstrated the key role these girls play in the health and development of their families, communities, and the world. The book also documented a gap in knowledge about girls’ lives and a lack of thoughtful evidence-based programs. The Council’s contributions galvanized efforts to gather evidence on ways to empower girls and enhance their lives.

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Council Commentary

Developing Products to Prevent Sexually Transmitted Infections

Researchers around the world are working to develop new ways to stop a collection of diseases that infect more than a million people every day.  These infections cause serious, sometimes fatal complications including maternal and infant mortality, infertility or anogenital cancer, and can increase susceptibility to HIV.  Billions of people are at risk…but too often these diseases are either ignored, or regarded as unavoidable “facts of life.”

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Council Commentary

Ending Female Genital Cutting in a Generation

Five years ago, more than three million girls each year were at risk of undergoing genital cutting - part of a complex mix of norms and societal expectations. Today, due to growing populations and the fact that ever more countries are admitting to girls being cut, many more girls are at risk. 

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Council Commentary

Contraceptive Discontinuation: Understanding Unmet Need

More than 225 million women worldwide want to avoid pregnancy but are not using a modern method of contraception. 

Among these women with current unmet need, about 38 percent have used modern contraception in the past but discontinued it. More than one-half of those women stop within two years.

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Council Commentary

A Recipe for Analyzing Fertility

I began my career with the Population Council in 1973, and in 2015 I retired as its president. One of the joys of working at the Council was being surrounded by public health and social science all-stars. Council researchers have changed the way the world thinks about important health and development issues and influenced policies and practice on family planning, the rights and health of girls, and population change. A highlight of my career has been seeing Population Council vice president and distinguished scholar John Bongaarts speak before standing-room-only-audiences in New York, New Delhi, and Addis Ababa. Like a small number of superstars in other professions, John can fill a hall in any of the world’s capital cities.

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Council Commentary

Pursuing Evidence to Uphold Girls’ Rights

With the largest generation of young people that the world has ever seen, and because of the grave cost that gender inequality extracts from their potential, the test of whether or not the next 15 years deliver sustainable development lies with the adolescent girl. She is the face of the future. Realizing her rights to dignity through access to health, keeping her safe and in school, and giving her critical information and a say in her own life will transform her future. Transforming her future means all of our futures are transformed.

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