You are here

World Population Day: Rights and Choices are the Answer: Whether baby boom or bust, the solution lies in prioritizing the reproductive health and rights of all people

9 July 2021 KAZAKHSTAN - The COVID-19 pandemic may have lasting consequences on the population. For some, it has led to postponing childbearing. For others, disruptions in health care have led to unintended pregnancies or even injuries and death. Although we have yet to get a full picture of the impact of COVID-19 on fertility, these trends have provoked alarmist concerns about baby booms or busts.

 

This year’s World Population Day - celebrated every year on the 11th of July - is centered around fertility and COVID and more specifically “Rights and Choices are the Answer: Whether baby boom or bust, the solution lies in prioritizing the  reproductive health and rights of all people.” 

 

On World Population Day UNFPA reminds that what should cause alarm is when women cannot exercise their sexual and reproductive rights and choices – whether because health services are interrupted, or because gender discrimination prevents them from making decisions about accessing health care, using contraception or engaging in sex with their partner.

 

Globally, 218 million women lack access to voluntary family planning. In Kazakhstan, over the past ten years, the percentage of women of reproductive age who are in official and unregistered marriages and do not use contraceptives is 44%.. This impacts the high rate of unintended pregnancies and childbirths, and it is estimated that every sixth  pregnancy ends in abortion in Kazakhstan.

 

Bodily autonomy plays a crucial role in ensuring that all people, especially women and girls, have control over their own bodies and health. According to the Ministry of Interior Affairs of Kazakhstan, during the COVID-19 pandemic domestic crimes have increased by 21%. Since the beginning of the quarantine, over 8 thousand people have been brought to administrative liability, half of the violators have been subjected to administrative arrest. Women with disabilities are more likely to experience violence than those without a disability. Our survey shows that during COVID-19, 7 out of 10 women with disabilities did not know where to seek help in the event of violence, while one third of those surveyed reported that their relationships with family members had deteriorated during the lockdown.

 

“When women can make informed choices about their sexual and reproductive health, and when they have access to services to support their choices, individuals and societies are healthier and more productive.  A woman who has control over her body gains not only in terms of autonomy, but also through advances in health and education, income and safety. She is more likely to thrive, and so is her family,” said UNFPA Representative for Kazakhstan and Country Director for Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan Giulia Vallese. 

 

To mark World Population Day, UNFPA Kazakhstan will conduct a social media campaign on its social media channels. Follow us these channels to find out more:

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/UnfpaInKazakhstan/?ref=pages_you_manage

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/unfpakaz/

Twitter https://twitter.com/UNFPAKAZ 

 

For more information please contact Ms. Dina Teltayeva at teltayeva@unfpa.org or via tel.: +7701 7654010.