Women empowerment issues – Jobs,Reservation and education

State of the World Population Report 2020


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: UNFPA

Mains level: Preventing violence and abuse against women

The UNFPA has released the State of the World Population Report 2020.

Highlights of the WPR

I) Global prospects

  • According to estimates averaged over a five year period (2013-17), annually, there were 1.2 million missing female births, at a global level.
  • The same study shows that in Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan excess female mortality of girls below 5 years of age was under 3 per cent.
  • These skewed numbers translate into long-term shifts in the proportions of women and men in the population of some countries, the report points out.
  • In many countries, this results in a “marriage squeeze” as prospective grooms far outnumber prospective brides, which further results in human trafficking for marriage as well as child marriages.

II) Data on India

  • India had about 4,60,000 girls ‘missing’ at birth each year.
  • The figure shows that the number of missing women has more than doubled over the past 50 years, who were at 61 million in 1970.
  • The report examines the issue of missing women by studying sex ratio imbalances at birth as a result of gender-biased sex selection as well as excess female mortality due to deliberate neglect of girls because of a culture of son preference.
  • Excess female mortality is the difference between observed and expected mortality of the girl child or avoidable death of girls during childhood.
  • The report cites a 2014 study to state that India has the highest rate of excess female deaths at 13.5 per 1,000 female births or one in nine deaths of females below the age of 5 due to postnatal sex selection.


  • The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), formerly the United Nations Fund for Population Activities, is a UN organization.
  • It is the lead UN agency for delivering a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person’s potential is fulfilled.
  • Their work involves the improvement of reproductive health; including the creation of national strategies and protocols, and birth control by providing supplies and services.
  • The organization has recently been known for its worldwide campaign against child marriage, obstetric fistula and female genital mutilation.

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