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    027331

    Male involvement in family planning: trends and directions.

    Carlos AC

    In: International Planned Parenthood Federation [IPPF]. Male involvement in family planning: programme initiatives. London, England, IPPF, [1984]. 1-8.

    This introductory paper presents the rationale of male involvement in family planning. 4 major reasons are given: sociological factors point to the importance of male involvement in all stages of contraceptive acceptance; the 2nd reason relates to the role of men as decision makers in matters affecting marital and family life. Experience and research reveal that men's support of, or opposition to, their partner's practice of family planning has a strong impact onn contraceptive usage in many parts of the world. The 3rd reason relates to the limited contraceptive options available for men, which should not, however, deter from efforts at promoting male involvement in family planning. Finally, the 4th reason relates to the encouragement of a better relationship between men and women, through the acceptance of family planning as a joint and equal responsibility. IPPF encourages family planning associations (FPA) to develop and implement education and communication programs aimed at encouraging male support to women in their choice of contraceptive methods, taking on additional family and child rearing responsibilities and using men's leadership role in promoting family planning practice in their communities. A brief review of IPPF's achievements to data shows that there has been no dramatic change in the direction of IPPF's programs towards male-orientated activites; no surge of male clients demanding services. Nonetheless, the amount of fruitful discussion and debate is notable. Perhaps most significant is the stimulus given to activities in IPPF's African and Arab World Regions--2 of the world's most difficult areas in which to bring about male participation in family planning. The 1st 2 years of the IPPF 3-year plan (1982-4) can probably best be described as a period of stimulation and preparation for an accelerated thrust on the part of the Federation to bring about greater male involvement in family planning. Also mentioned here are examples of initiatives, at the FPA level, aimed at reaching and involving men both as acceptors and promoters of family planning. Finally, a number of issues and factors are raised as stimulating questions to guide future action aimed at achieving the Federation's objectives.
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