United Nations: The objective to end poverty by 2030 envisaged in the UN Sustainable Development Goals will never be met without addressing the issue of women's reproductive rights, according to a report.
"This new UNFPA report argues that these goals, especially the one to end poverty, may never be achieved without first tearing down economic, social, geographic and other barriers that hundreds of millions of women face every day in exercising their reproductive rights," said Richard Kollodge, editor of The State of World Population 2017 report by the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), Xinhua reported.
"This report is careful to note that you cannot fix economic inequality just by fixing inequalities in reproductive health. However, the report does make the case that progress toward economic equality is possible if you make sure that all women have the power, the information and the means to decide whether, when, with whom and how often to have children," Kollodge told reporters at the UN Headquarters on Tuesday.
Inequality is often understood in terms of income or wealth, said Kollodge, but there are other dimensions.
He said one dimension that has been largely ignored is the enjoyment or denial of reproductive rights and the effect it has on all humanity.
"Economic inequality divides countries into haves and have-nots; inequality in reproductive rights divide people into cans and cannots."
Without access to contraception, poor women, particularly those who are less educated and live in rural areas, are at heightened risk of unintended pregnancy which may result in health risks and lifelong economic repercussions, said the report.
The unmet demand for family planning in developing countries is generally greatest among women in the poorest 20 percent of households, it added.