The power of women when deciding when and how many children to have a direct impact on the economic and social development of populations, according to the "Report on the State of the World's Population 2018" prepared by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).
The Executive Director of UNFPA, Natalia Kanem, today presented the study in London emphasizing that the "possibility to choose" in reproductive matters can "change the world".
As Kanem explained to Efe, the current lack of options in making these decisions affects fertility rates, tending to be higher or lower than the population would want.
Thus, in less developed countries, concentrated in sub-Saharan Africa, fertility amounts to an average of more than four children per woman as a result of the lack of sexual education and access to contraceptive methods that, according to the study, they have more offspring than they would initially want.
On the contrary, in the more developed countries of Europe and America the obstacle lies in the low fertility, conditioned by the economic and labor pressure that forces them to reduce their lineage in order to reconcile their professional and personal lives.
Problems that contrast but at the same time arise from a common cause, the limits, of all kinds, that women have to face to plan their family project.
The report highlights that, for example, "when a woman has the possibility of avoiding or delaying pregnancy, and has the means to do so, she exercises greater control over her health and her work to achieve full economic potential."
It also reflects the worldwide trend of a decline in the fertility rate in almost all countries over the last 150 years.
Before the 1960s, it indicates, the world average was 5 children per woman, whereas at present the fertility rates of most countries with populations over 1 million inhabitants are equal to or less than 2.5. .
However, for Kanem, this trend is not going to be a problem in the future of population reduction, adding that the number of inhabitants of a territory "does not establish their well-being".
"If this were true, countries such as Nigeria, China, Indonesia or India would be paradises," she said, insisting that "having many people does not magically guarantee development."
What he does, in his opinion, is that "the population is educated, has a job and can live with the money they earn".
Kanem stressed the importance of the rulers of each country "establishing policies so that people have freedom when choosing" the number of children they wish to have.
One of the graphs collected in the study shows the offspring of a group of women born in 1974 from a score of countries with low fertility rates, among which are the United States, France, the United Kingdom, Australia and Germany.
Of all countries, Spain is the last, with 26% of these women have not had children, 29% have had one, 37% have two and only 8% have three or more.
The document concludes that no country can say "that all its citizens enjoy their reproductive rights at all times" and that most couples "can not have the number of children they crave."
Either because they "lack the economic and social support necessary to maintain the family size they want or because they lack the necessary means to control pregnancies."