The World Population Day is celebrated on July 11, every year, with the aim to focus the world’s attention on the importance of population issues. It took hundreds of thousands of years for the world population to grow to 1 billion, then in just another 200 years or so, it grew sevenfold. This day covers a lot issues from different territories, from family planning, gender equality, and environmental impacts to human rights concerns.
On this year's World Population Day focus shall be on “Rights and choices are the answer: Whether baby boom or bust, the solution to shifting fertility rates lies in prioritizing the reproductive health and rights of all people”. The United Nations Populations Fund (UNFPA) calls for prioritising reproductive health and rights for all through access to information and services in the face of fertility and demographic shifts.
According to UNFPA research in March 2021, an estimated 12 million women experienced disruptions to family planning services. The pandemic has compromised health care systems particularly in the area of sexual and reproductive health. While those with access to sexual and reproductive health services historically delay childbearing in times of fiscal uncertainty or crisis, disruptions in supply of contraceptives in combination with lockdowns are predicted to result in a sharp rise in unplanned pregnancies for the most vulnerable.
Moreover, the World Health Organization survey shows how family planning services was one the most extensively disrupted health services globally. Sadly, only 55 percent of women have the power to make their own decisions about their bodies should be a wake-up call to governments, policymakers, and development institutions.
We, at World Assembly of Youth (WAY), are fully aware that over population growth is occurring all over the world but the growth often multiplies mostly in less developed countries and systemic violations of women’s rights continue throughout their life cycles. Each individual must be empowered to make reproductive choices with full autonomy, free of pressure, and coercion. Therefore, taking into account the urgency to solve the current population challenges, we urge young people to educate their peers, especially those living in less developed countries, on existing inequalities and vulnerabilities, particularly for women and young girls.
Women's empowerment and reproductive health are both necessary for the advancement of society.