A central tenet of modern family planning efforts is that the rights of individuals, women’s empowerment and gender equality are forefront. This can be traced back to the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), held in Cairo. Given the central role that women’s empowerment and the right to plan ones family hold in international development, it is surprising to find that the relationship between these two things has not been more broadly researched. Two recent systematic reviews, one on women’s empowerment and fertility, and one on women’s empowerment and family planning, aimed to summarise and analyse what has already been done, as well as what is yet to be done (Prata, et al., 2017; Upadhyay, et al., 2014). There is a paucity of systematic reviews in demography, sometimes leading to misconceptions about the size, strength, and types of evidence available on a certain topic. Given that the searches for these reviews only included literature published up to December 2012, there is a need to update them regularly, but nonetheless they are an important resource and they raise some important issues for researchers looking at this area.