PATH’s work in sexual and reproductive health is guided by key principles of choice, equity, and dignity for all women.
Without accurate reproductive health information and access to services and contraceptive options, women face multiple threats to their health and well-being, including sexually transmitted infections such as HIV and human papillomavirus, which can lead to cervical cancer, and unintended pregnancies. Yet today, 214 million women worldwide who want to use modern contraceptives still don’t have access to them.
At PATH, we understand the complex social, behavioral, and gender dimensions of women’s reproductive health. We build evidence around tools and services that are best suited to address the diverse needs and circumstances of women, and we specialize in reducing barriers to access through innovation and empowerment.
Women need contraceptive methods that fit into their daily lives. PATH helps women take charge of their protection by ensuring they have essential information and support to make informed choices. We also develop woman-centered methods, including easier-to-use forms of the female condom and diaphragm and the injectable contraceptive Sayana® Press, which can be self-injected, allowing women greater autonomy.
Empowering adolescent girls and young women
PATH believes that it’s critical for adolescent girls and young women to be empowered with information about their bodies and their rights and with the resources to support healthy behaviors. A variety of interventions and programs are needed to help reduce their risk of unintended pregnancies, sexually transmitted infections, and gender-based violence. We build the capacity of girls and women to demand health services and to access them when needed. We enhance their access to services by reaching out through safe venues like pharmacies and schools.
Healthy markets and stocked shelves
Women also need access to a reliable and sustained supply of contraceptive products. PATH works with low-resource countries to ensure they have adequate supplies. We provide a toolkit to improve supply-chain management; offer guidance on where and how to effectively access high-quality products; and tap into the expertise of more than 80 global organizations that can assist countries with securing supplies.
We also help countries develop a total market approach (TMA) to contraceptive supplies. By directing people who can pay for services to the private sector, and freeing up public resources for those most in need, a TMA can help create a healthier market overall.
Our ultimate goal: ensuring that women everywhere, regardless of age, marital status, or wealth, can access the information and tools they need to meet their reproductive needs and stay healthy.
To find out more about PATH's Sexual and Reproductive Health program, read our program briefs.