11 July 2005
World Population Day
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Promoting Gender Equality

Achieving the Millennium Development Goals

World Population Day in
Previous Years:
2004 | 2003


Related statistics

  • Access to family planning continues to grow; 60 per cent of married couples in developing countries now use modern methods of contraception, compared to 10-15 per cent in 1960.

  • As world population hits 6.5 billion, the largest group of young women ever is entering their childbearing years. Most are in developing countries and many are born into poverty.

  • It is estimated that guaranteeing access to family planning alone could reduce maternal mortality by 25 per cent and child mortality by up to 20 per cent. Ensuring skilled attendance at birth could reduce maternal deaths by 74 per cent.

  • More than 70,000 teenage girls are married every day and nearly 40,000 give birth.

  • In sub-Saharan Africa, young women aged 15 to 24 are more than three times as likely to be infected with HIV as young men.

  • 65 million (or 54 per cent) of the estimated 121 million children currently out of school are girls, according to UNICEF. Globally, 600 million women are illiterate, compared to 320 million men.

  • Around the world, as many as one in every three women has been beaten, coerced into sex, or abused in some other waymost often by someone she knows, including by her husband or another male family member; one woman in four has been abused during pregnancy.

  • In Asia, at least 60 million girls are missing from the population, despite laws banning sex-determination testing and sex-selective abortions.

Women's political participation is a strategic priority because where women's share of seats in political bodies is less than 30 per cent, countries are less inclusive, less egalitarian, and less democratic.