National Family Planning Day

18 September 2019

Nepal

Despite progress over the past 10 years in Nepal, 24% of married women still have an unmet need for family planning. © UNFPA Nepal/SC

Access to safe, voluntary family planning is a human right. Family planning is central to gender equality and women’s empowerment, and it is a key factor in reducing poverty. Many women in Nepal are not able to use safe and effective family planning methods due to lack of access to information or services and support from their partners or communities. The 6th National Family Planning Day provides an opportunity to promote family planning. Across Nepal a series of awareness-raising events are organized to celebrate the day and highlight the importance of family planning.

Working together with international development partners UNFPA has been supporting the Government of Nepal and local stakeholders to promote family planning by: ensuring a steady, reliable supply of quality contraceptives; strengthening national health systems; advocating for policies supportive of family planning; and gathering data to support this work. UNFPA also provides technical support to the Government of Nepal in increasing access to family planning to develop evidence and policies.

Family planning has long been considered a priority in Nepal and the majority of contraceptives and other commodities have been procured using government budget including pool funds. In recent years, however, there have been several constraints related to procurement, supply chain management and inventory management which have led to a number of development partners’ direct support in these areas in order to sustain the momentum for family planning.

The Ministry of Health made a commitment to FP2020 in March 2015, just before the massive earthquake of 25 April 2015. The Government of Nepal committed to identify and address barriers to family planning, broaden the range of available contraceptives and improve the method mix, as well as increase the budget for family planning on a yearly basis by 7%. Prior to signing off on the FP2020 commitment, the Ministry of Health had endorsed a five-year Costed Implementation Plan for Family Planning (2015-2020), which outlined the resources required for scaling up the family planning programme and the commodity needs.

Despite progress over the past 10 years in Nepal, 24% of married women still have an unmet need for family planning. Only 15% of married women or girls aged 15-19 use a modern form of contraception. In Nepal, 17% of adolescent women age 15-19 are already mothers or pregnant with their first child. Women in rural areas have an average of 2.9 children, compared to 2.0 children among women in urban areas. Women with no education have 1.5 more children than women who have graduated from high school. One in four married women in Nepal have an unmet need for family planning: 8% want to delay childbearing, while 16% want to stop childbearing.

Access to contraception and family planning can mean the difference between life and death. UNFPA is working to ensure all individuals can access and use affordable, quality reproductive health supplies whenever they need them.

यस वर्षको राष्ट्रिय परिवार योजना दिवसको नारा 'किशोर किशोरीको सहभागिताः परिवार नियोजन सेवाको सुनिश्चितता' रहेको छ ।