Alleviating Poverty and Empowering Women
Women for Conservation was born from our commitment to empower women in impoverished areas of Colombia while simultaneously protecting rare and endemic wildlife. While meeting with local women from these rural areas, a common, important theme arose: they desperately wanted access to family planning to control the frequency of their pregnancies, yet their remote location made it difficult and expensive to travel to health clinics for these services. Women for Conservation immediately recognized the multitude of benefits of delivering family planning services to these communities, both in terms of empowering women and supporting conservation.
Throughout the world’s poorest countries, millions of women desire contraceptives but cannot obtain them. This lack of access results in girls and women becoming pregnant much earlier and more often than they want, interrupting their education and creating unexpectedly large families in households that have very limited resources.
Achieving Sustainable Population Growth to Save Wildlife
One of the greatest threats to conservation is the burgeoning human population, which places excessive and unsustainable demands on natural resources. During the past century alone, the human population suddenly soared — more than 7.8 billion people currently inhabit the planet. In striking contrast, there were fewer than one billion people for 10,000+ years prior to the 19th century. This recent extraordinary growth, paired with modern tendencies for over-consumption, has placed the future of our planet at great peril. Fortunately, improving access to contraceptives can curb unsustainable population growth.
At Women for Conservation, our efforts focus on introducing family planning to communities in critical biodiversity areas, where preserving natural habitats and resources is key to saving unique species on the edge of extinction. We coordinate with women’s groups in four communities throughout Colombia to introduce affordable access to birth control. In doing so, we seek to empower more than 100 women and girls, increasing their future opportunities, while alleviating poverty and protecting natural resources.