World Population Day 2020: Raising awareness about the health and rights of women amid the coronavirus pandemic
World Population Day is observed each year on July 11th in an attempt to increase awareness about issues regarding global population. First established by the Governing Council of the United Nations Development Programme in 1989, it marks the day that the world reached the population of 5 billion in the year 1987. The world has come a long way since then; as of July 2020, according to the worldmeters website, the world population has hit an all-time high at 7.8 Billion people.
World Population Day is observed in an attempt to raise awareness about the importance of family planning, adoption, gender equality, poverty, maternal health and human rights. It also seeks to show people the adverse effects that mass populations can have on the delicate ecosystem of the world and now the development of society.
With the ongoing coronavirus, we are scheduled to see an increase in population in the coming months due to various unplanned pregnancies. As countries remain in lock down, supply chains that ensure the availability of contraceptives are not delivering.
Research done by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has conclusively proved that if the countries remain in lockdown for more than 6 months it can severely disrupt the health services. “47 million women in low- and middle-income countries may not be able to access modern contraceptives resulting in 7 million unintended pregnancies.” UNFPA shared on their website.
Each year the United Nations Development programme assigns a theme in an attempt to shed light on a particular issue concerning the world and this year the theme is centred around the health and rights of women and girls. During the pandemic, with unemployment on the rise, women’s health and well-being are on the line, not just from the coronavirus but also from the increase in gender-based violence.
The United Nations Office of Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs along with the UNFPA and other agencies of the UN are working towards providing sufficient aid to the vulnerable communities of society especially during these types.
Since a gathering to observe this event cannot take place, “UNFPA aims to raise awareness about the sexual and reproductive health needs and vulnerabilities of women and girls during the pandemic” by sharing statistics and guidelines online in order to provide information and increase general knowledge about these issues.