Population and women's rights

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 200 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.

Population Matters campaigners in New York
25 September 2020

PM supporters call for UN action

Last year we launched a petition calling on the United Nations to take action on population. People from 128 countries signed up, and we have submitted it to the UN today, to mark five years since the Sustainable Development Goals were introduced.

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The Unmet Contraceptive Needs of Women and Girls

Briefings and submissions

A four page summary outlining the unmet contraceptive needs of women and girls globally and the relationship between the provision of modern family planning and social and environmental issues.

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26 September 2020

Reproductive Healthcare: The Missing Link

A new study released highlights the importance of ensuring universal access to modern reproductive healthcare to achieving the United Nation’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. To mark World Contraception Day, Population Matters calls for increased funding to the UNFPA to fulfill unmet modern contraceptive needs. 

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14 September 2020

Relationships & Sex Education: Teach Everyone Every Aspect

The theme of this year's UK Sexual Health Week is relationships and sex education. In this guest blog post, Dr. Rebecca Foljambe, founder of RSE charity and Empower to Plan partner You Before Two, reflects on a discussion with some of her young students. 

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19 September 2020 to 26 September 2020

UN Global Week to #Act4SDGs

The 2020 Global Week to Act4SDGs, on September 18-26, is a joint call to action for everyone - leaders, citizens, organisations and institutions - to accelerate progress towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

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Densely packed buildings
28 August 2020

It's time to end harmful population denial

Population Matters Director Robin Maynard debunks writer George Monbiot's claims that addressing the population issue is "blaming the poor" and "racist", and explains why population denial hurts everyone, especially the world's most vulnerable.

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Small family in woods
22 August 2020

Earth Overshoot Day: How smaller families shrink our ecological footprint

Today is Earth Overshoot Day, the day on which humanity has used up all the natural resources that the Earth can produce within a year. This means that from tomorrow, we are effectively in ecological overshoot, leading to resource depletion and destruction of nature. Population Matters Senior Communications Officer Olivia Nater explains how empowering people to choose a small family size helps us live within our planetary boundaries.

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20 August 2020

Earth Overshoot Day: Five ways we can move the date

Every year, Earth Overshoot Day marks the day when humanity has consumed all the resources that the planet can produce over the entire year. This year it falls on 22 August. Global Footprint Network CEO Laurel Hanscom lays out five steps we must take to shrink humanity's ecological footprint.

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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.

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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.

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