The world's population is set to grow by 2.2 billion between now and 2050, the UN said on Wednesday, and more than half of that growth - 1.3 billion - is likely to be in sub-Saharan Africa, where women's rights are hampered by limited access to healthcare and education, along with "entrenched gender discrimination".
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Across the world, choices are restricted for too many women, says UNFPA's flagship report, The State of World Population 2018, released today. The freedom to make decisions that affect one’s health and well-being is inextricably linked to reproductive rights. Where individuals and couples are unable to decide whether and when to have children, fertility rates are often high, making it harder for countries to provide essential services – including health care and education – that help people chart a path from poverty.
Fifty years ago, world leaders recognized family planning as a human right. Yet safe and reliable forms of contraception remain out of reach for hundreds of millions of people.
In today's world, gaps in wealth have grown shockingly wide. Billions of people linger at the bottom, denied their human rights and prospects for a better life. At the top, resources and privileges accrue at explosive rates, pushing the world ever further from the vision of equality embodied in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
A year of conflict in Yemen has left an estimated 3.4 million women of reproductive age between 15 and 49 years in need of humanitarian assistance, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has reported, expressing growing concern about the situation.