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World Population Day 2021: UN Sheds Light on Reproductive Health and Rights of People

World Population Day

This year’s theme of World Population Day is: “Rights and choices are the answer: Whether baby boom or bust, the solution to shifting fertility rates lie in prioritizing the reproductive health and rights of all people.”

dIgitalhealth

Every year on July 11, World Population Day is observed to highlight the importance of population issues. Established by the then UNDP’s (United Nations Development Programme) Governing Council in 1989, the United Nations General Assembly made the decision to continue observing World Population Day by passing a resolution 45/216 of December 1990. This is in a bid to heighten awareness of population issues, including the relation of population to the environment and development.

World Population Day 2021: Theme

This year’s theme of World Population Day is: “Rights and choices are the answer: Whether baby boom or bust, the solution to shifting fertility rates lie in prioritizing the reproductive health and rights of all people.”

World Population Day 2021: Covid-19 Implications

In the second year of the Covid-19, UNDP says, “We are suspended in an in-between state, where parts of the world are emerging from the deep recesses of the pandemic while others are locked in battle with the coronavirus as access to vaccines remains a distant, deadly reality. The pandemic has compromised healthcare systems particularly in the area of sexual and reproductive health.

dIgitalhealth

It also exposed and exacerbated gender-based inequities: gender-based violence increased under lockdown, as did the risk of child marriage and female genital mutilation as programmes to abolish the harmful practices were disrupted. Significant numbers of women left the labour force – their often low-paying jobs were eliminated or caregiving responsibilities for children learning remotely or for homebound older people increased – destabilising their finances, not just for now but in the long run.”

Considering this situation, UNDP says that many countries have concerns over changing fertility rates. Usually, alarmism over fertility rates has opened on to abrogation of human rights.

UNFPA or United Nations Population Fund advises against reactionary policy responses, which can be “extremely” harmful if they violate rights, health and choices. The UN agency stresses that women must be empowered educationally, economically and politically for exercising choice over their bodies and fertility.

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