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.

Ethiopian woman with child
25 January 2019

Stigma and fears - barriers to family planning in Africa

Tens of millions of married women in sub-Saharan Africa are not using effective, modern contraception. A new study provides insights on the reasons, and reveals how the barriers might be overcome.

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12 December 2017

Progress in family planning – but a long road ahead

Last week, Family Planning 2020 released its annual report. The project is designed to enable 120 more million women and girls in the world’s poorest countries to use modern contraception by 2020.

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14 November 2018

Running to stand still? Meeting family planning targets.

A new report shows that despite progress, global targets set for the use of modern family planning in 2020 will be missed. Government inaction and international funding shortfalls are among the many barriers faced in some of the world's poorest countries.

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26 October 2018

UN population report: progress, but much to do

The new State of the World Population 2018 report published by the United Nations Population Fund highlights the importance of having the power to choose the timing, number, and spacing of children in order to promote global economic and social development.

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11 October 2020

International Day of the Girl Child

The day aims to highlight and address the needs and challenges girls face, while promoting girls' empowerment and the fulfilment of their human rights.

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28 September 2020

International Safe Abortion Day

As an international day of action for decriminalization of abortion, The day was launched in 1990 by the Campaña 28 Septiembre, a regional network of activist groups, who have been organizing activities in support of safe abortion around that date in the region ever since.

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28 May 2019

International Day of Action for Women's Health

May is an occasion to celebrate the gains for women’s health as well as remind the Ministries of Health, ruling presidents, governors, parliamentarians, as well as internationals agencies and for-profit companies of their commitments to women’s health and rights.

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8 March 2019

International Women’s Day

International Women's Day is celebrated on March 8 every year. It commemorates the movement for women's rights.

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Women’s rights

Sustainability Insights

In recent years, governments across the world have been accepting more legal human rights obligations to combat gender inequalities. Despite this, discrimination against women is still widespread, and the severest of human rights violations are persisting in many countries.

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Rights and responsibilities

Sustainability Insights

We at Population Matters believe in respect for human rights, both for their own sake and as a prerequisite for long-term sustainability.

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