World Population Day 2021: Current Theme, History and Significance
World Population Day 2021: This year, the day is focused on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on fertility and is the main theme for the commemoration. No doubt the pandemic has compromised health care systems mainly in the area of sexual and reproductive health. As per the UNFPA research in march, an estimated 12 million women experienced disruptions to family planning services.
The main goal of this day is to focus the attention of the world on the importance of population issues. We can't ignore the fact that the COVID-19 pandemic disturbed and staggered people, communities, and economies everywhere.
According to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres," Sustainable Development 2030 agenda is the world's blueprint for a better future for all on a healthy planet. On World Population Day we recognise that this mission is closely interrelated with demographic trends including population growth, aging, migration, and urbanisation".
Population issue includes family planning, gender equality, child marriage, human rights, right to health, baby's health, etc. Therefore, World Population Day focuses on the importance of reproductive health and how it affects overall growth and development plans and programs.
World Population Day 2021: Theme
As per UNFPA, Rights and choices are the answer: Whether baby boom or bust, the solution to shifting fertility rates lies in prioritizing the reproductive health and rights of all people.
This year, the day is focused on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on fertility and is the main theme for the commemoration.
According to UNFPA, in 2020, it focuses on how to safeguard the health and rights of women and girls now and putting the brakes on COVID-19.
UN Council every year decides the theme of World Population Day but in 2019 specific theme is not decided and calls for global attention to the unfinished business of the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development. It is necessary to recognise that reproductive health and gender equality are essential for achieving sustainable development. To achieve these unmet goals, in November, UNFPA together with the governments of Kenya and Denmark will be convening a high-level conference in Nairobi to accelerate the efforts.
Let us tell you that in 1994, International Conference on Population and Development was held at Cairo where a revolutionary Programme of Action was adopted by 179 governments and called for women's reproductive health and rights to take centre stage in global and national development efforts. This programme basically focuses on comprehensive reproductive health care including family planning, safe pregnancy, childbirth services, prevention, and treatment of sexually transmitted infections. No doubt for the advancement of society women's empowerment and reproductive health both are necessary.
In 2018 the theme of World Population Day was "Family Planning was a human right".
World Population Day: History
In 1989, World Population Day was established by the Governing Council of the United National Development Programme as an outgrowth of the interest generated by the Day of Five Billion, which was observed on 11 July, 1987. By the time, now it is necessary to generate awareness among the public about the population issues and the impact they have on development and the environment.
Several organisations like United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA), governments, and non-governmental organisations organise educational activities and other events on this day.
The United Nations General Assembly by resolution 45/216 of December 1990, decided to continue observing World Population Day to raise awareness of population issues and their relations to the environment and development. On 11 July, 1990, the day was first marked in more than 90 countries. Since then, a number of UNFPA country offices and other organisations and institutions commemorate World Population Day in partnership with governments and civil society.
To support family planning 9 Standards are being set. They are as follows:
Source: www. ifhc.org.com
- Non-discrimination: On the basis of race, sex, language, religion, political affiliation, age, economic status, disability status, place of residence, marital status, etc. information regarding family planning and services cannot be restricted.
- Available: It is the duty of the country to ensure that family planning commodities and services are accessible to everyone.
- Acceptable: In a proper manner contraceptive measures and information must be provided while respecting both modern medical ethics and cultures.
- Good quality: Information regarding family planning must be accurate.
- Informed decision-making: Each individual must be empowered to make reproductive choices with full autonomy, free of pressure, and coercion.
- Privacy and Confidentiality: When seeking family planning, information, and services, all individuals must enjoy the right to privacy.
- Participation: Countries must ensure active and informed participation of individuals in decisions that affect them, including health issues.
- Accountability: It is the duty of all leaders, policymakers, health systems, and education systems to be accountable to the people in making them realise the human right to family planning.
World Population Day: Celebration
It is an international event where various countries, organisations participate and draw attention to the major issues related to the population of the world. Activities organised on this day includes seminar, discussion, educational sessions, public contest, slogans, workshops, debates, songs, etc. Not only this, even TV channels, news channels, radio broadcast various programs related to population, and the importance of family planning.
So, the World population is observed worldwide every year on 11 July to draw the attention of the public towards the importance of population issues and the need to curb them.