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.

Ugandan women at clinic
7 June 2019

Trump’s Global Gag Rule is killing people

A new report reveals the extent of the damage caused by President Trump’s global family planning funding cuts. Vulnerable women and girls around the world are being deprived of vital reproductive healthcare, with devastating consequences.

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Robin Maynard
29 May 2019

Are we getting through?

The profile of population and family size is continuing to grow in the media. That discussion is normalising the choice to have few or no children for environmental reasons, and it's something policymakers can no longer ignore. 

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Winnie and Edu
30 April 2019

Letting the elephant out of the room: Our 2019 Conference

Population Matters’ annual conference in London this past Saturday left attendees feeling enlightened and inspired. This year’s theme was the crucial link between population growth and the sixth mass extinction. With an incredibly knowledgeable international panel of speakers from diverse backgrounds, it was a fantastic event that highlighted the interconnectedness of environmental and social issues and the urgent need for the conservation community to address this.

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8 June 2019

Kadogo’s Story - Life in a remote Kenyan village

Come to the next meeting of our London Group and learn about family planning in a remote Kenyan village.

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Girl clutching mother
18 April 2019

State of the World Population: Women and girls left behind

The latest UNFPA State of the World Population report highlights widespread and persistent gender inequality, with hundreds of millions of women around the world still unable to control how many children they have.

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Crowded city
5 April 2019

Population growth slows progress towards Sustainable Development Goals, says UN

The world is not on track to meeting the Sustainable Development Goals because efforts to implement them have not kept pace with rapid human population growth, according to the United Nations.

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Teens sitting on wall
5 March 2019

Gender equality boosts teen contraceptive use

A new report shows that adolescents are more likely to use contraception when women and men are more equal in their society. The authors argue that achieving safer sex among teenagers requires work to overturn sexist policies, expectations and attitudes.

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Kenyan woman with child
13 November 2019 to 15 November 2019

The Nairobi Summit on ICPD25: Accelerating the promise

A high-level conference to advance the implementation of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) Programme of Action

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2 March 2019

She Decides Day 2019

SheDecides Day is an opportunity to showcase solidarity with the rights of women and girls to have control of their bodies, everywhere.

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Euros
1 February 2019

Family planning gets European funding boost

Funding for sexual health and family planning from European donor countries increased by 17% between 2016 and 2017, with the UK remaining one of the largest donors.

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