The Women For Women Foundation has been covering the costs of the Mirena for women like Jane*, a mother of five who couldn’t afford to pay for the healthcare.
“I wasn’t financially able to afford the Mirena and the procedure. Meanwhile, already having five children, it was my main priority not to have more,” she said.
“Women for Women has not only helped me physically but also psychologically, I now have peace of mind,” Jane continued.
Unfortunately in Malta, contraceptives are considered luxuries and those who cannot afford them are left to struggle alone in a country where abortion is a criminal offence.
Therefore, Women For Women has been sponsoring those in need of the contraceptive Mirena for the past five years with the help of a gynaecologist and St. James Hospital.
On average, they help at least one woman a month.
The Mirena alone costs around €185 and then there’s the insertion fee that bumps up the overall price to over €300 – an astronomical amount that must be paid every five years.
The foundation ensures that all aspects of the procedure from providing the Mirena to organising the insertion are covered.
“We have done this for the past five years. Initially, we collected money from Women for Women members but now since we are a foundation, we sponsor the women with the help of donations,” the founder, Francesca Fenech Conti, told Lovin Malta.
To be eligible for this sponsorship, women need to be referred to Women for Women by their social workers.
For further clarification, the Mirena is a hormonal intrauterine device (IUD) that is inserted into the uterus and releases the hormone levonorgestrel (which is a type of progestin) to prevent pregnancy.
It is a long-acting reversible contraception and they are the most effective forms of birth control, possibly because it does not require user intervention.
Women For Women was founded as a result of the popularity of the Facebook group that shares the same name and was set up in 2015 by Fenech Conti.
The group is all-female and it was created to give all women a voice to discuss issues that they were never given the opportunity to speak out about.
The group now has over 42,000 members.
The foundation, on the other hand, was created in 2019 with its own mission to “empower and support women and girls through the funding of education, emergency financial aid and the promotion of gender equality.”
“To invest in women short-term so they may improve their prospects long-term,” the website explained.
Donations can be one time or monthly through the website, SMS, BOV Pay or bank transfers.
For more info on the foundation and its work, check out its website here.
The woman in the cover photo is founder of Women for Women, Francesca Fenech Conti.
If you or anyone you know has ever experienced difficulty when accessing or affording contraception, feel free to contact [email protected]