World Population Day is marked to highlight the urgency of focusing on overpopulation and how it can adversely affect the world.
As the global population is set to hit the eight billion-mark this year, there is a growing need to draw attention to challenges that plague the world like poverty, gender inequality, violence, inequitable distribution of resources and climate changes.
In this context, making people aware of the importance of family planning, maternal healthcare, and human rights is an important step. The United Nations announces a specific theme every year related to the issue of overpopulation, family planning, gender equality and so on.
Theme this year:
In 2022, the theme of World Population Day is “A world of 8 billion: Towards a resilient future for all - Harnessing opportunities and ensuring rights and choices for all”.
What is the importance of this theme?
The theme illustrates that while the world’s population will cross the eight-billion mark this year, serious inequalities still exist in terms of access to healthcare, food, water and other resources. The UN aims to create healthier societies empowered by rights and choices. This calls for increasing awareness about the health and rights of women.
What does this entail?
This means lowering negative indicators such as maternal mortality rate, adolescent birth rate and more. In 2017, the maternal mortality ratio was 217 per 100,000 live births. As for adolescent birth rate or the number of girls having a child between the ages of 15 and 19, the ratio was 40 per 1,000 girls.
To ensure healthier societies, we must ensure that these statistics are brought lower.
The COVID-19 pandemic further exposed the inequalities in matters of access to healthcare, contraceptives and other medical facilities. In this context, it is necessary for member states of the United Nations to embark on awareness campaigns to highlight family planning as well as sexual and reproductive rights that are available in their country.
The states should also ensure more equitable access to maternal healthcare options and contraceptives. It is only by doing so that we will be able to create a healthier and more productive population.