Population Research Shows Investing in Women’s Health Yields Benefits for Households, Spurs Development

WASHINGTON, June 24, 2015 / PRNewswire — As world leaders prepare to gather later this month in Ethiopia to chart the future of financing for global development, researchers are showing how investments in women’s health and education can have a critical and enduring impact on the well-being of women and children, and by extension, households and communities.

The Population and Poverty Research Network, or PopPov (http://poppov.org/), is holding its Conference on Population, Reproductive Health, and Economic Development in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, this week. The PopPov conference showcases groundbreaking studies and new evidence on the effect of cash transfers, family planning interventions, education, HIV testing, and employment policies in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.

The PopPov research conference comes two weeks before the start of the Third International Conference on Financing for Development (FfD), also to be held in Addis Ababa. There, world leaders will set priorities for allocating trillions of dollars to achieve the planned Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030. Preparatory documents for the FfD conference indicate that leaders will highlight the central role of gender equity and women’s empowerment in the SDG framework.

Evidence presented at the PopPov conference shows that women’s access to appropriate health care, including family planning services, can help women and girls complete more years of education and participate in the labor force. Women with more years of education are more likely to delay marriage and childbearing and to gain the skills necessary for gainful employment. Greater employment, income potential, and better health allow women to contribute more to child, household, and community well-being.

“[PopPov] research has shown the economic importance of good health and the value for societies of investing in education for women and family planning,” said Ruth Levine, director of the Global Development and Population Program at the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, one of the research program sponsors. “The research has also examined the effectiveness of specific types of safety net, health, and family planning programs, providing information to decisionmakers about how to use precious public resources,” Levine added.

To find out more about PopPov research projects and the benefits of investing in women’s health and empowerment, go to: http://www.prb.org/Publications/Articles/2015/poppov-investing-in-women.aspx

The Population and Poverty Research Network (PopPov) is a global group of academic researchers and funders studying how population dynamics affect economic outcomes. The initiative has generated research findings focused on sub-Saharan Africa and Asia that could help inform program and policy recommendations. Learn more and find additional resources at poppov.org.

Population Reference Bureau (www.prb.org) has partnered with the Hewlett Foundation since 2006 in implementing the PopPov initiative. Over 100 researchers in the PopPov network have addressed research questions relevant to social, health, and economic issues in more than 70 countries.  

CONTACT: Peter Goldstein, Population Reference Bureau
email: pgoldstein@prb.org; tel. +1-202-939-5407