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UNFPA’s population report

Topics Covered: Women related issues.

UNFPA’s population report:


Recently, The United Nations Population Fund’s (UNFPA) Flagship State of World Population Report 2021 titled ‘My Body is My Own’ was launched.

  • This is the first time a United Nations report has focused on bodily autonomy.

What is bodily autonomy?

  • The report defined ‘Bodily autonomy’ as the power and agency to make choices about your body without fear of violence or having someone else decide for you.

Highlights of the report:

  • Nearly half the women from 57 developing countries do not have the right to make decisions regarding their bodies, including using contraception, seeking healthcare or even on their sexuality.
  • In countries where data is available, only 55% of women are fully empowered to make choices over healthcare, contraception and the ability to say yes or no to sex.
  • Only 75% of countries legally ensure full and equal access to contraception.
  • Women around the world are denied the fundamental right of bodily autonomy with the COVID-19 pandemic further exacerbating this situation.

Facts about India in the Report:

  • In India, according to NFHS-4 (2015-2016), only about 12% of currently married women (15-49 years of age) independently make decisions about their own healthcare.
  • For a quarter of women (23%), it is the spouse that mainly takes decisions about healthcare.
  • Information provided to women about use of contraception is also limited.

About United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA):

It is the United Nations sexual and reproductive health agency.

  • The organization was created in 1969, the same year the United Nations General Assembly declared “parents have the exclusive right to determine freely and responsibly the number and spacing of their children.”
  • UNFPA’s mission is to deliver a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person’s potential is fulfilled.


Prelims Link:

  1. About UNFPA.
  2. Reports.
  3. What is bodily autonomy?
  4. Key findings of the latest report.

Mains Link:

Comment on the key findings of the report.

Source: The Hindu.