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World Population Day

In 1989, the Governing Council of the United Nations Development Programme recommended that 11th July be observed by the international community as World Population Day, a day to focus attention on the urgency and importance of  population issues.

Current estimates indicate that roughly 83 million people are being added to the world’s population every year. Even assuming that fertility levels will continue to decline, the global population is expected to reach 8.6 billion in 2030, 9.8 billion in 2050 and 11.2 billion in 2100, according to the medium-variant projection.

Why World Population Day is celebrated

The aim of the celebration is to pay great attention towards the reproductive health problems of the community people as it is the leading cause of the ill health as well as the death of the pregnant women worldwide. The campaign of the World Population Day every year increases the knowledge and skills of the people worldwide towards their reproductive health and family planning.

Through this great awareness celebration, people are encouraged to take part in the event to know about population issues like importance of family planning towards the increasing population, gender equality, maternal and baby health, poverty, human rights, right to health, sexuality education, use of contraceptives and safety measures like condoms, reproductive health, adolescent pregnancy, girl child education, child marriage, sexually transmitted infections, etc.

Sexuality related issues are very necessary to solve among youth, especially those between 15 to 19 years of age. Access to safe, voluntary family planning is a human right. It is also central to gender equality and women’s empowerment, and is a key factor in reducing poverty. Investments in making family planning available also yields economic and other gains that can propel development forward.

Theme for 2020

This year's World Population Day calls for Putting the brakes on COVID-19: how to safeguard the health and rights of women and girls now.

The COVID-19 crisis has taken a staggering toll on people, communities and economies everywhere. But not everyone is affected equally. Women, who account for the largest share of front-line health workers, for example, are disproportionately exposed to the coronavirus. Supply chains around the world are being disrupted, impacting the availability of contraceptives and heightening the risk of unintended pregnancy. As countries are on lockdown and health systems struggle to cope, sexual and reproductive health services are being sidelined and gender-based violence is on the rise.

Moreover, women disproportionately work in insecure labour markets and are harder hit by the economic impacts of COVID-19. Nearly 60 percent of women worldwide work in the informal economy, at greater risk of falling into poverty. Women’s unpaid care work has increased as a result of school closures and the increased needs of older people. 

The pandemic is hitting marginalized communities particularly hard, deepening inequalities and threatening to set us back in our efforts to leave no one behind. Our response to COVID-19 in every country is critical and will determine how fast the world recovers and whether we achieve the Sustainable Development Goals or not.

The day aims to raise awareness about the sexual and reproductive health needs and vulnerabilities of women and girls during the pandemic, to highlight how we can safeguard hardfought gains and ensure that Sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) stays on the local agenda, and to explore how to maintain the momentum towards achieving the SDGs by 2030.  

Nine standards to uphold the human right to family planning

  • Non-discrimination: Family planning information and services cannot be restricted on the basis of race, sex, language, religion, political affiliation, national origin, age, economic status, place of residence, disability status, marital status, sexual orientation or gender identity.
  • Available: Countries must ensure that family planning commodities and services are accessible to everyone.
  • Accessible: Countries must ensure that family planning commodities and services are accessible to everyone.
  • Acceptable: Contraceptive services and information must be provided in a dignified manner, respecting both modern medical ethics and the cultures of those being accommodated.
  • Good quality: Family planning information must be clearly communicated and scientifically accurate.
  • Informed decision-making: Every person must be empowered to make reproductive choices with full autonomy, free of pressure, coercion or misrepresentation.
  • Privacy and confidentiality: All individuals must enjoy the right to privacy when seeking family planning information and services.
  • Participation: Countries have an obligation to ensure the active and informed participation of individuals in decisions that affect them, including health issues.
  • Accountability: Health systems, education systems, leaders and policymakers must be accountable to the people they serve in all efforts to realize the human right to family planning.

Objective of celebrations

Some of the objectives of celebrating the world population day are

  • It is celebrated to protect and empower youths of both gender like girls and boys.
  • To offer them detail knowledge about the sexuality and delay marriages till they become able to understand their responsibilities.
  • Educate youths to avoid unwanted pregnancies by using reasonable and youth friendly measures.
  • Educate people to remove the gender stereotypes from society.
  • Educate them about the pregnancy related illnesses to raise the public awareness about dangers of early childbirth.
  • Educate them about STD (sexually transmitted diseases) to get prevented from various infections.
  • Make sure about the access of equal primary education to both girls and boys.
  • Make sure the easy access of reproductive health services everywhere as part the basic primary health for each couple.

Sources :

  1. http://www.un.org/en/events/populationday/
  2. http://www.unfpa.org/events/world-population-day
  3. Family Planning: A Right and a Choice
  4. State of World Population 2020


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