Popcom 7 reports population woes

THE Commission on Population (PopCom) 7 delivered the State of the World Population Report via Facebook Live on Friday, July 10, 2020.

The activity was done in partnership with the United Nations Population Fund, a UN organization, formerly known as the United Nations Fund for Population Activities. The organization says it “is the lead UN agency for delivering a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person’s potential is fulfilled.”

The PopCom 7 report was also part of the celebration of the World Population Day, which is observed every July 11.

The 2020 World Population Day carried the theme, “Putting the Brakes on Covid-19: How to Safeguard the Health and Rights of Women and Girls Now.”

Discussions in the pre-recorded PopCom 7 forum focused on the Philippines’ efforts to achieve transformative results of ending the unmet need for family planning, ending maternal deaths, and ending gender-based violence and other harmful practices.

The 2020 World Population Day theme highlights the reality that as countries are on community quarantines due to the Covid-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) pandemic and health systems struggle to cope with the pandemic, there is the continuing need for access to quality sexual and reproductive health services.

The 2020 State of the World Population Report documents the global situation and recommendations for women and girls to be free from gender-based violence and other harmful practices, especially during this pandemic.

A report published on states that the Covid-19 crisis has taken a staggering toll on people, communities and economies everywhere. But not everyone is affected equally. Women, who account for the largest share of front-line health workers, for example, are disproportionately exposed to the coronavirus.

Supply chains around the world are being disrupted, impacting the availability of contraceptives and heightening the risk of unintended pregnancy. As countries are on lockdown and health systems struggle to cope, sexual and reproductive health services are being sidelined and gender-based violence is on the rise.

Recent United Nations Population Fund research highlighted that if the lockdown continues for six months with major disruptions to health services, then 47 million women in low- and middle-income countries may not be able to access modern contraceptives, resulting in seven million unintended pregnancies, and 31 million additional cases of gender-based violence can also be expected. The disruption of United Nations Population Fund’s programmes on the ground could result in two million cases of female genital mutilation and 13 million child marriages between 2020 and 2030 that could have been averted.

Moreover, women disproportionately work in insecure labor markets and are harder hit by the economic impacts of Covid-19. Nearly 60 percent of women worldwide work in the informal economy, at greater risk of falling into poverty. Women’s unpaid care work has increased as a result of school closures and the increased needs of older people.

The pandemic is hitting marginalized communities particularly hard, deepening inequalities and threatening to set us back in efforts to leave no one behind.

“Our response to Covid-19 in every country is critical and will determine how fast the world recovers and whether we achieve the Sustainable Development Goals or not,” read the UN report.


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