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.

Veiled woman
7 July 2020

Violated rights: the governments controlling women’s bodies

China and Iran have made the headlines in the last few days for two very contrasting examples of a return to the dark ages of controlling women’s wombs. Population Matters Communications Officer Olivia Nater investigates.

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Hitting the Targets - Population and the SDGs

Briefings and submissions
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3 July 2020

Number of women and girls subjected to harmful practices still growing

The latest UNFPA State of the World Population report shows that every year, millions of women and girls across the world are still subjected to violent and harmful practices. Due to population growth and stagnating progress towards gender equality, the number of victims is still on the rise.

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School children
25 June 2020

Can relationships & sex education help save the planet?

On the UK's Relationships and Sex Education Day, Population Matters Campaigner Katrina Dixon lays out why quality sex education is key to protecting lives and the environment. 

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Rainforest
5 June 2020

Easing our impact on biodiversity and nature

On World Environment Day, conservationist and forestry expert Dr Edu Effiom explains why protecting biodiversity requires improving access to sexual and reproductive healthcare alongside more sustainable production and consumption patterns.

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29 May 2020

How much would it cost to end the worst gender inequalities?

A new UN report summarises last year's Nairobi Summit on ICPD25, which aimed to boost global progress on women’s rights and sexual and reproductive health. One key outcome of the meeting was its revelation that ending maternal deaths, gender-based violence and unmet family planning needs is affordable and within reach, but desperately needs more funding.

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To Kid Or Not To Kid
16 June 2020

To Kid Or Not To Kid virtual Q&A

Tune in for a live Q&A on Facebook with Population Matters, To Kid Or Not To Kid filmmaker Maxine Trump and special guests for a discussion about the path to choosing a childfree life and how it can promote global sustainability.

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Earth at night
14 May 2020

Empowerment or 'kicking down'? The truth about population concern

Population Matters Director Robin Maynard responds to environmental writer George Monbiot's denigration of population campaigners in a recent Guardian piece.

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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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