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.

25 November 2020

The Shadow Pandemic: Violence Against Women

One in three women around the world experience physical or sexual violence. On the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, Population Matters Campaigner Katrina Dixon takes a sobering look at one of humanity’s oldest diseases.

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WVD 2019
20 November 2020

An Act of Love: Vasectomies and positive masculinity

On 18 October 2013, filmmaker Jonathan Stack and urologist Dr. Doug Stein launched the first ever World Vasectomy Day. This week, they are celebrating the 8th annual event with close to 1,000 participating physicians in 30 countries committed to doing 10,000 vasectomies – WVD is now the largest male-oriented family planning event in history. Jonathan reveals what motivates them and recounts their inspiring journey so far.

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17 November 2020

"The best decision of my life": The men who chose a vasectomy

World Vasectomy Day is an annual celebration of the men who choose a vasectomy to help share the burden of contraception and responsible family planning. We gathered testimonies from men across the world about their personal experiences of getting "the snip". 

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Biden 2020 flag
10 November 2020

Biden’s victory: What does it mean for women’s rights and the environment?

Sexual and reproductive health and rights and the environment saw several significant setbacks under the Trump administration. Now that Joe Biden and running mate Kamala Harris have won the US presidential election, what is likely to change? Senior Communications Officer Olivia Nater takes a look at key international policy issues.

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Aubergine with lemons
22 October 2020

Birth control: where are the male options?

There is now a whole buffet of female contraceptive methods on the market, yet there remain only two options for men: condoms and vasectomy. Why is this? Population Matters Senior Communications Officer Olivia Nater investigates.

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Population Matters Magazine - Autumn 2020

Population Matters Magazine

Summarises our World Population Day activities on population and the UN Sustainable Development Goals, explains how we're working to influence the new global agreement on biodiversity, features an interview with childfree filmmaker Maxine Trump, and more.

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David Attenborough on Easter Island
7 October 2020

Attenborough film: Saving our planet requires ending population growth

David Attenborough's 'A Life On Our Planet' highlights the rampant destruction of nature caused by human population growth and unsustainable consumption, as well as the positive and urgently needed actions we must take to save our one and only planet. Population Matters Director Robin Maynard reviews the film.

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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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Contraceptive pills
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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