Not a single country has yet achieved full gender equity and women across the world continue to suffer from discrimination, abuse and lack of choice. Gender inequality is a primary driver of high birth rates.

Most women live in developing countries, which often rank poorly on gender equity. More than 230 million women who wish to avoid pregnancy are currently unable to because they are not using modern contraception. A quarter of all girls do not attend secondary school and one in five girls is married before her 18th birthday, meaning many women still spend most of their lives bearing children at short intervals. Empowering women and girls is one of the most powerful, yet sadly neglected, solutions to overpopulation.

Learn more about women’s rights and population here.

See our latest news stories and blog posts about women’s rights below.

Senegalese woman learning about modern contraceptives
10 August 2020

Investing in contraception would save billions of dollars

A new report estimates that fulfilling the unmet need for modern contraception in developing countries would save $16 billion a year in maternal healthcare by reducing the number of unintended pregnancies.

Read more

1 August 2020

International Childfree Day: Childfree Stories

To mark this year’s International Childfree Day, we have selected some of our favourite testimonials from Population Matters supporters who have made the choice to live their lives without having children.

Read more

Crowd crossing road
20 July 2020

Two billion fewer people?

A new study published in The Lancet projects that the global population will peak at 9.7bn in 2064 and be 8.8bn by the end of the century. That's 2bn below the United Nations projection. Can it be true?

Read more

14 July 2020

World Population Day 2020 – sustainable development needs a sustainable population

Saturday 11 July marked World Population Day and for us it was the culmination of a series of digital events that we hope will encourage and inspire people to talk about population issues. This year our theme and activities centred around the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Read more

Veiled woman
7 July 2020

Violated rights: the governments controlling women’s bodies

China and Iran have made the headlines in the last few days for two very contrasting examples of a return to the dark ages of controlling women’s wombs. Population Matters Communications Officer Olivia Nater investigates.

Read more

Hitting the Targets - Population and the SDGs

Briefings and submissions
Download
3 July 2020

Number of women and girls subjected to harmful practices still growing

The latest UNFPA State of the World Population report shows that every year, millions of women and girls across the world are still subjected to violent and harmful practices. Due to population growth and stagnating progress towards gender equality, the number of victims is still on the rise.

Read more

School children
25 June 2020

Can relationships & sex education help save the planet?

On the UK's Relationships and Sex Education Day, Population Matters Campaigner Katrina Dixon lays out why quality sex education is key to protecting lives and the environment. 

Read more

Rainforest
5 June 2020

Easing our impact on biodiversity and nature

On World Environment Day, conservationist and forestry expert Dr Edu Effiom explains why protecting biodiversity requires improving access to sexual and reproductive healthcare alongside more sustainable production and consumption patterns.

Read more

29 May 2020

How much would it cost to end the worst gender inequalities?

A new UN report summarises last year's Nairobi Summit on ICPD25, which aimed to boost global progress on women’s rights and sexual and reproductive health. One key outcome of the meeting was its revelation that ending maternal deaths, gender-based violence and unmet family planning needs is affordable and within reach, but desperately needs more funding.

Read more