Spotlighting Reasons to Engage Men in Family Planning

Engaging Men and Boys in Family Planning

Adriana Zinn

Georgetown University | Student

The well-being of men and women around the world is closely related to gender norms and the ways in which those norms influence health behaviors, including family planning. Engaging men, especially in gender equity efforts, is critical to establishing good health for both men and women, and family planning programs can be a key opening for these efforts.

Population Reference Bureau created an infographic exploring the constructive engagement of men as clients, men as partners, and men as agents of change. The graphic spotlights key statistics and noteworthy programs from around the world, and emphasizes the importance of engaging men in family planning.  For example:

  1. Male condoms account for only 8% of contraceptive use globally.
  2. The worldwide prevalence of vasectomies is 3%, compared to the prevalence of female sterilization, which is 18%.
  3. A study in Brazil found that young men with inequitable gender norms are less likely to use contraception.
  4. 1/3 of 20-24 year old women in the least developed countries give birth by 18.
  5. Educated husbands feel that decisions about family size should be made with their partner.

These data underscore the importance of continuing to engage men in family planning and women’s health. Since studies show that careful and constructive male engagement can have positive effects for both men and women, more efforts should be made to include men, especially in family planning. These efforts will, hopefully, create changes surrounding family planning practices and promote better health for men and women worldwide.