The State of World Population 2022 report released by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the United Nations sexual and reproductive health agency, has revealed one out of four women cannot resist sex.
This, according to the report true for instances where data exit.
The report also disclosed nearly half of all pregnancies, totaling 121 million each year throughout the world, are unintended. For the women and girls affected, the most life-altering reproductive choice—whether or not to become pregnant—is no choice at all, explains the report.
The groundbreaking report, “Seeing the Unseen: The case for action in the neglected crisis of unintended pregnancy,” warns that this human rights crisis has profound consequences for societies, women and girls and global health.
“Over 60 per cent of unintended pregnancies end in abortion and an estimated 45 per cent of all abortions are unsafe, causing 5 – 13 per cent of all maternal deaths, thereby having a major impact on the world’s ability to reach the Sustainable Development Goal”, parts of the report read
According to the report, the war in Ukraine and other conflicts and crises around the world are expected to drive an increase in unintended pregnancies, as access to contraception is disrupted and sexual violence increases.
“This report is a wakeup call. The staggering number of unintended pregnancies represents a global failure to uphold women and girls’ basic human rights,” says UNFPA Executive Director Dr. Natalia Kanem.
“For the women affected, the most life-altering reproductive choice—whether or not to become pregnant—is no choice at all. By putting the power to make this most fundamental decision squarely in the hands of women and girls, societies can ensure that motherhood is an aspiration and not an inevitability.”
The report was published on March 30, 2022.
Highlights of report
Gender inequality and stalled development are said to drive high rates of unintended pregnancies. Globally, an estimated 257 million women who want to avoid pregnancy are not using safe, modern methods of contraception, and where data is available, nearly a quarter of all women are not able to say no to sex. A range of other key factors also contributes to unintended pregnancies, including:
- Lack of sexual and reproductive health care and information
- Contraceptive options that don’t suit women’s bodies or circumstances
- Harmful norms and stigma surrounding women controlling their own fertility and bodies
- Sexual violence and reproductive coercion
- Judgmental attitudes or shaming in health services
- Poverty and stalled economic development
- Gender inequality
All of these factors reflect the pressure societies place on women and girls to become mothers. An unintended pregnancy is not necessarily a personal failure and may be due to the lack of autonomy society allows or the value placed on women’s lives.