Gender inequality is the main obstacle to enforcing and applying human rights, including those related to reproduction, according to a report presented today in Berlin by the United Nations Population Fund, in charge of sexual and reproductive health. .
Thus, gender inequality limits the ability of women to freely decide on when and with whom to have sex, on the use of contraceptive methods or medical care and on when or if to seek work or pursue higher education.
In the same way, gender norms limit the reproductive rights of men by exercising strong social pressure to show their fertility, assume risk behaviors and have many children.
According to the report, only 57% of married women or in a list of the 51 countries with data on it have the ability to make their own decisions in all three key areas: sexual relations with their partner and the use of contraceptive methods and medical services.
The document reveals that up to 214 million women in less developed countries who want to prevent pregnancy do not have access to modern contraceptive information, services and methods.
Even so, the prevalence of the use of modern contraceptive methods in these countries registered an increase of 3,600%: if in 1969 it was 1%, in 1994 it was 15% and in 2019 it was 37%.
Meanwhile, in more developed countries, the increase was 74.3%, from a prevalence of 35% in 1969, to 57% in 1994 and to 61% in 2019.
In global terms, in 1969, the prevalence rate of modern contraceptive methods was 24%, in 1994, 52% and in 2019, 58%, representing an increase of 141.7%.
The report analyzes advances in reproductive health, coinciding with the anniversaries of two important milestones: the creation fifty years ago of UNFPA and 25 years since the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in Cairo, in which 179 governments advocated universal access to comprehensive reproductive health services.
Thus, if the average number of births per woman was 4.8 in 1969, in 1994 it was 2.9 and today it stands at 2.5, which represents a decrease of 47.9%.
The fertility rate in the least developed countries fell from 6.8 in 1969 to 5.6 in 1994 and to 3.9 today, which translates into a 42.6% decrease.
Meanwhile, this same rate in the most developed countries decreased by 26.1%, from 2.3 in 1969 to 1.6 in 1994 and 1.7 in 2019.
On the other hand, the number of women who died from causes related to pregnancy fell from 369 per 100,000 births in 1994 to 216 in 2015, a decrease of 41.5%.
Minorities continue to be the most affected by the lack of access to sexual and reproductive health services, particularly ethnic groups, adolescents, single people, the LGTBI community, the disabled and the poorest people in both rural and urban areas. report.