As per the recently released State of World Population 2017 report by the United Nations Population Fund, prevailing inequality between rich and poor has to be tackled on an urgent basis and poorest and most vulnerable women will have to be empowered to make their own decisions about their lives. On failing to do so, countries across the world could face unrest and their development will be hampered.
Highlights of State of World Population 2017:
The report has been titled “Worlds Apart: Reproductive Health and Rights in an Age of Inequality.”
- As per the report, economic inequality goes hand in hand with inequality in reproductive health.
- As of 2017, half of 1.6 billion women of reproductive age living in developing regions want to avoid a pregnancy.
- Around 59 million women use unreliable traditional methods of pregnancy prevention whereas 155 million use no method of contraception at all.
- South Asian region is home to largest number of women with an unmet need for modern contraception and thereby has high maternal mortality rate.
- Maternal mortality rate is much lower in countries where family planning services have been expanded.
- Due to limited access to family planning, every year there are 89 million unintended pregnancies and 48 million abortions in developing countries. This not only harms women’s health, but also restricts their ability to join or stay in the paid labour force and achieve financial independence.
- It has been observed that expanding family planning results into reduction in poverty, as with fewer children, families can invest more in health and education, thereby making future workers more productive.
- The report has also suggested 10 Action points which are aimed to bridge the inequality gap between rich and poor.
About United Nations Population Fund:
United Nations Population Fund is an agency of United Nations which was earlier known as United Nations Fund for Population Activities.
- It was formed in year 1969.
- UNFPA focuses on improvement of reproductive health on global level.
- Headquarters of UNFPA is located in New York, US.