Earth Day: How MSI supports climate resilience

As we celebrated Earth Day, we drew a dotted line between climate justice and women’s reproductive rights.

MSI analysis from 2021 estimated that 14 million women and girls risk losing access to contraception due to climate disruptions in the next decade — a stark example of the ways climate change is permeating all aspects of our lives.

At MSI, we believe that climate action must acknowledge gender inequalities and ensure that women and girls can be resilient to the impacts of climate change, and take part in finding the solutions.

Our providers support people with their reproductive health in climate-affected communities, and they meet people like Binetou.

Binetou lives in a coastal town in Senegal, and the climate crisis is her daily reality. She helps to rebuild the local mangroves that have been impacted by environmental changes, which are putting food sources and livelihoods at risk.

“Resources are scarce because of climate change; it doesn’t rain much anymore. Choosing when to get pregnant makes life easier.”

Women and girls in the Global South are hardest hit by climate change. When drought hits, they need to walk further to find water. When harvests fail, they can struggle to feed their families. When climate change makes their homes unliveable, they can be displaced. Piling onto that is the gender discrimination they face, lower incomes, and poorer access to resources and healthcare.

It couldn’t be clearer why these women and communities need the choice to access contraception. To support them to adapt and remain resilient, women have made it clear that they want reproductive choice so they have the power to avoid unintended pregnancy. As Binetou so powerfully puts it:

“This is why we use contraception… to reclaim our lives.”

It’s deeply troubling that climate disruptions are threatening access to women’s contraception. It is essential healthcare that is truly life-changing, and in times of crisis it’s needed more than ever.

While the devastating impacts of the climate crisis continue to deepen, we know our role is to protect reproductive choice for women and girls on the frontlines of it.

To learn more about the impacts of the climate crisis on reproductive choice, visit our website or read our two-page briefing. We encourage you to reshare our recent LinkedIn Newsletter on this topic to your networks. 


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