Message on World Population Day
11 July 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic affects everyone, everywhere, but it does not affect everyone equally. It is deepening existing inequalities and vulnerabilities, particularly for women and girls.
With many countries on lockdown and health systems struggling to cope, sexual and reproductive health services are being sidelined and gender-based violence is on the rise. The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) projects that if lockdown measures continue for six months with major disruptions to health services, 47 million women in low- and middle-income countries may not be able to access modern contraceptives, resulting in 7 million unintended pregnancies. Some 31 million additional cases of gender-based violence can also be expected.
许多国家都处于封锁状态，卫生系统都在奋力抗疫，此时性健康和生殖健康服务却日趋边缘化，性别暴力也越来越多。联合国人口基金（人口基金）预计，如果封锁措施持续6个月而保健服务因此严重中断，中低收入国家会有4 700万妇女无法获得现代避孕药具，从而使700万人意外怀孕。预计还会出现大约3 100万起性别暴力案件。
Every year, millions of girls are subjected to practices that harm them physically and emotionally, robbing them of their right to reach their full potential. According to the State of World Population 2020, recently released by UNFPA, more than 4 million girls will be subjected to female genital mutilation and 12 million forced to marry this year. Lockdowns stemming from the pandemic are expected to make matters even worse.
Decades of experience and research show that bottom-up, grassroots approaches aimed at addressing gender-biased norms and attitudes, can bring change. Through international declarations and agreements, including the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development, the international community has committed to ensuring universal access to sexual and reproductive health care, eliminating the unmet need for contraception, and ending all forms of violence against women and girls, including harmful practices, by 2030. We cannot allow the pandemic to reverse progress we have made towards these goals.
On this World Population Day, let us act to safeguard sexual and reproductive health care, protect the health and rights of women and girls, and end gender-based violence. The pandemic has made our jobs much harder, but we must prevail.