State of the World Population 2020 Report


  • Recently, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has released the State of the World Population 2020 report, titled ‘Against my will: defying the practices that harm women and girls and undermine equality’.

Key findings:

  • At least 19 harmful practices, ranging from dowry related violence to crimes in the name of so-called honour, are considered human rights violations.
  • The Report focuses on the three most prevalent forms: child marriage, son preference and Gender Biased Sex Selection (GBSS), and female genital mutilation (FGM).
  • 6 lakh girls were “missing” at birth each year from 2013 to 2017, as a result of sex selection that prefers a male child to a female child. The report added that 4.6 crore women are “missing” in India over the last 50 years.
  • Globally, the number of “missing” women is 14.2 crore.
  • Globally, roughly one in five (21%) of women are subjected to child marriage.
  • 32% of Indian women who had been married before the age of 18 had experienced physical abuse from their husbands, compared to 17% for those who married as adults. This is based on a survey of more than 8,000 women in five states where child marriage is most prevalent – Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkand, Maharashtra and Rajasthan.
  • According to the report, advances in India have contributed to a 50% decline in child marriages in South Asia.
  • The report took note of the successful cash-transfer initiative such as ‘Apni Beti Apna Dhan’ in India.

Global Facts

  • The number of missing women has more than doubled over the past 50 years, who were at 61 million in 1970.
  • In Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan excess female mortality of girls below 5 years of age was under 3%.

Source: Indian Express, TH, State of the World Population 2020 report

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