Religious Engagement in Family Planning Policies

Author: Katherine Marshall

October 15, 2015

The decisions involved in family planning are intimate choices by couples and individuals that reflect a host of different factors: expectations and hopes shaped by culture, family circumstances, economic and social situations; access to information and means to control one's fertility; and health concerns. The roles of religious beliefs, communities, and leaders at the individual, family, and societal levels can be very significant, encouraging positive attitudes and actions or discouraging various forms of contraception altogether. Exactly how those roles play out, however, can be difficult to pin down and they vary widely from place to place, and among different religious traditions.
Religious Engagement in Family Planning Policies: Experience in six Muslim-majority countries profiles family planning programs in Indonesia, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Iran, Morocco, and Senegal. This research is meant to serve as a resource for WFDD's project on family planning in Senegal, but a broader audience can appreciate how it fills a gap in research and knowledge by focusing explicit attention on the engagement of religious leaders and religious institutions in national family planning strategies and programs.