- World Population Day is celebrated on 11th July every year
- The theme this year is -- “Family Planning: Empowering People, Developing Nations”
- The theme aims at putting the reins of population control in the hands of those who desire to adopt family planning methods
World Population Day is an United Nations initiative celebrated on 11th July every year. The theme this year is "Family Planning: Empowering People, Developing Nations."
The growing population of the world increasingly drains the earth's limited resources. With the world's population touching 7.5 billion, and projected to add yet another billion by 2030, serious concerns have been raised as to how the earth will be able to sustain the exploding population with its limited resources.
The causes and effects of population explosion are closely entwined. Population explosion is associated with illiteracy, poverty, lack of health care facilities, religious superstitions, and unemployment. Illiteracy results in people opting for large families with the belief that more children translate into more earning members for the family. However, one more child is also one more mouth to feed. The poor families lack the health care and economic resources to bring up the children, thereby only adding to the problem.
Though family planning methods have been available for decades, there have been several barriers to their adequate use.
- Lack of knowledge of available methods, often due to illiteracy
- Lack of support from the partners. Contraceptive methods like condoms have to be used by the male partners, who may not always agree to do so
- Inaccessibility to safe and effective family planning methods
Why Do Women Need Empowerment in Family Planning?All over the world, women are far less likely than men to be educated, and to actively take informed decisions about their lives. Especially among the urban-rural and rural populations of the world, particularly in the developing nations, the notion of voluntary family planning and the use of adequate contraceptives continues to be elusive. Women, in most cases, do not have financial independence and are completely dependent on the men in their families for subsistence. More often than not, they are not even aware of their fundamental right over their bodies. Yet, being able to plan the family size enables them to plan their entire lives. The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), previously the United Nations Fund for Population Activities, a UN agency, is committed towards educating women in matters of child-birth, use of contraceptives and family planning, and in expanding their life choices. At present, approximately 225 million women in developing countries are in need of voluntary family planning, but lack awareness and health care. Enabling these women to avoid pregnancy would not only help the world from falling victim to certain demographic disaster, but also reduce maternal mortality by 10-20%.
Apart from empowering women to take their own decisions regarding family planning, the concept of family planning can be spread to the grassroot levels by:
- Making contraceptives available to people
- Educating people regarding the availability and the use of contraceptives
- Making adequate healthcare facilities available to guide people on the use of contraceptives
- Introducing government policies to provide financial as well as technical support through programs that provide assistance in family planning
Interesting Facts about World Population
- The world's current population is 7.5 billion
- China is the most populated country in the world at 1.371 billion
- India's population, currently at 1.311 billion, is a close second
- About 800 women die every day from pregnancy-related causes worldwide
- As per recent UN estimates, the world's population might reach a staggering 17 billion by the turn of the century.
- Family Planning: Empowering People, Developing Natio - (http://www.un.org/en/events/populationday/index.shtml)
- Gender Equality - (http://www.unfpa.org/gender-equality)