World Population Day 2020: As people across the globe grapple with the novel coronavirus pandemic, the World Population Day this year focuses on multiple challenges - health, economic and social. The COVID-19 crisis has not spared any country, rich or poor. Reproductive health, family planning and mental health - among other issues - have taken a backseat as medical resources have been stretched due to the pandemic.
Theme of World Population Day 2020
"How to safeguard the health and rights of women and girls now" amid the pandemic is the theme of this year's World Population Day.
Why the focus on women and girls
Reports have shown that domestic violence had increased globally amid the lockdown. The National Commission for Women in India reported a huge rise in the number of complaints. Women also account for the largest share of front-line health workers, according to a United Nations report. In India, amid the lockdown, there have been many instances of pregnant women unable to reach health care centres for delivery.
A study by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) says, "47 million women in low- and middle-income countries may not be able to access modern contraceptives" when lockdown-like disruptions happen. Women are also hit harder economically due to the COVID-19 crisis. Around 60 per cent of women across the world earn their livelihood by working in the informal sector, according to the report.
World Population Day and our role
- It is important to create and celebrate awareness, say experts.
- Get to know women and girls in our neighbourhood and learn about their troubles.
- Talk about family planning, right to healthcare, gender equality, sex education and human rights with women around us who have not had the opportunity of receiving proper education in their childhood.
The United Nations Development Programme recommended the introduction of World Population Day in 1989, inspired by the public interest and awareness that was created by "Five Billion Day" on July 11, 1987 when the world's population reached 5 billion.