18 October 2017

UNFPA 2017 State of World Population Report published

On 17 October, the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) published its 2017 edition of the State of World Population which dicusses reproductive health and rights in relation to (gender) inequalities and outlines a way to close the gender gap through 10 actions which every country can take.

UNFPA Executive Director Dr. Natalia Kanem stated that “inequality in countries today is not only about the haves and have nots. Inequality is increasingly about the cans and cannots. Poor women who lack the means to make their own decisions about family size or who are in poor health because of inadequate reproductive health care dominate the ranks of the cannots”

10 actions countries can take on the path towards equality are as follows:

1. Meet all commitments and obligations to human rights agreed on in international treaties and conventions;

2. Tear down barriers that prevent young women from accessing sexual and reproductive health information and services;

3. Reach the poorest women with essential, life-saving antenatal and maternal health care;

4. Meet all unmet needs for family planning, prioritizing women in the poorest 40 per cent of households;

5. Provide a universal social protection floor, offering basic income security and covering essential services, including maternity-related benefits and support;

6. Bolster services, such as childcare, to enable women to enter or remain in the paid labour force;

7. Adopt progressive policies aimed at accelerating income growth among the poorest 40 per cent, including through stepped-up human capital investments in girls and women;

8. Eliminate obstacles to girls’ access to secondary and higher education, and to their enrolment in courses in science, technology, engineering and mathematics;

9. Accelerate the transition from informal jobs to formal work – focusing first on sectors with large concentrations of poor, female workers – and unblock women’s access to credit and property ownership; and

10. Work towards measuring all dimensions of inequality and how they influence each other, and strengthen links between data and public policy.

The full report is available here