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 Magazine Spring 2020

Population Matters Magazine

Features Chris Packham's '7.7 Billion and Counting', a summary of ICPD25, Population Decomposing, and an interview with Judy Ling Wong.

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Woman fetching water
15 April 2020

Coronavirus and contraception in rural Kenya: SRH should be a priority every day

In this guest blog post, Dandelion Africa Director Wendo Aszed looks at how COVID-19 is affecting women in rural Kenya. 

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Nepalese village
3 April 2020

Millions of women have no say over what happens to their bodies

Almost half of women in 57 low- to middle-income countries have no decision-making power regarding their health, contraceptive use and sex lives, according to a new UN report.

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11 July 2020

World Population Day 2020 Live Q&A

Join us for a live panel discussion on the link between population and the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

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Liberian school girl
5 March 2020

UN report: World still largely hostile to girls

Despite some progress over the past 25 years, girls under age 18 around the world continue to face unacceptable discrimination and violence driven by deeply entrenched gender inequality, according to a new report.

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African women carrying baskets
27 February 2020

Family planning services still falling behind population growth

According to a new study, the number of women of reproductive age who wish to avoid pregnancy but who are not using any modern form of birth control is currently around 270 million and may remain this high in 2030 due to rapid population growth and slow progress in improving access.

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Contraceptives
4 February 2020

Which European countries spend the most on global family planning?

A new report shows that Europe spent a total of 845 million Euros on global sexual and reproductive health and family planning in 2018 – an overall increase of 5% compared to 2017. Most countries either increased or maintained their funding levels, yet major shortfalls and political barriers remain.

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Chris Packham
17 January 2020

Chris Packham: we need to talk about population

In a landmark and powerful documentary on the BBC, Population Matters patron Chris Packham looked at the challenges of population growth, and made an impassioned plea for it to become a core part of environmental debate.

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Thai mother and baby
29 February 2020

Reproductive health, family planning & ethics - case studies from Honduras, Thailand & Tanzania

How do reproductive health services and attitudes to family planning vary around the world?

Answers to these questions are crucial for those wanting to empower women and give them choices as to how many children to have and when to have them.

This free speaker event is organised by the London Group of Population Matters.

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Robin Maynard and Lagos media, World Population Day 2019
23 December 2019

2019 Year in Review

PM director Robin Maynard reviews a successful year for Population Matters, but one which brought much bad news about the planet.

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