End 'Alarmist Narratives' on Population Growth in Africa - UN

Women's bodies must not be held captive to government policies or "alarmist narratives" concerning population growth, the United Nations sexual and reproductive health agency (UNFPA) said in major new report.

In its 2023 State of World Population report, UNFPA said that while reaching the milestone of eight billion people on Earth was a reminder of "our unprecedented gains", concerns over the number were "causing anxiety, and driving more governments to try to influence fertility rates."

"As women are empowered to make choices about their bodies and lives, they and their families thrive - and their societies thrive as well," the UN said.

However that was not the message most received at the news of the eight billion milestone last November. "Instead, many headlines warned of a world teetering into overpopulation", leaving the rights and potential of individuals, to "fade too easily into the background".

The key statistics clearly demonstrate the lack of agency experienced by millions of women worldwide. Around 24 per cent of women and girls are unable to say no to sex, while 11 per cent are unable to make decisions over contraception.



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