World Population Day 2020: Theme, History and Significance
World Population Day 2020: 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 COVID-19 pandemic disturbed and staggered people, communities, and economies everywhere. But everyone is not affected equally. For example, women, who account for the largest share of front-line workers are disproportionately exposed to the coronavirus.
Around the world supply chains are also disturbed, which is impacting the availability of contraceptives and heightening the risk of unintended pregnancy. During the COVID-19 pandemic, countries are on lockdown, health and systems are struggling for coping, several services are affected included sexual and reproductive health services and also, gender-based violence increased.
According to UNFPA research if the lockdown continues for 6 months then major disruptions occur to health services, 47 million women in low-and middle-income countries may not be able to access modern contraceptives which result in 7 million unintended pregnancies. It is also expected that 31 million cases of gender-based violence increase.
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 2020: Theme
According to UNFPA, this year 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 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 raises awareness of population issues like 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 on 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 need to curb it.