By Janet Fleischman and Alisha Kramer, CSIS Global Health Policy Center

Ethiopia has attracted global attention for its leadership in advancing family planning. In a new video, the CSIS Global Health Policy Center brings the voices of Ethiopian women and girls as well as champions of family planning into the U.S. policy discussion.

Through the voices of rural women, health extension workers, and an Orthodox priest, along with an official of the Ministry of Health and the First Lady, the video vividly highlights the importance of family planning as a core component of Ethiopia’s development.

Despite many challenges – with its population projected to double by 2050, high levels of maternal mortality and extreme poverty, and restrictions on human rights – Ethiopia has the opportunity to expand the benefits of family planning to advance women’s and children’s health, and to reach broader health and development goals.

As Dr. Tewodros Bekele of the Ministry of Health puts it in the video: “Family planning is beyond health…it is beyond a gender issue. In Ethiopia, we consider it as a fundamental rights issue.”

Janet Fleischman is a senior associate at the CSIS Global Health Policy Center; Alisha Kramer is a program manager and research assistant with the CSIS Global Health Policy Center.