11 July 2019
Inspired by the date on which the world's population reached five billion on 11th July 1987, the day has been designated by the UN as the World Population Day since 1989.
The world nations have been observing the commemoration ceremony with the themes, annually identified by the United Nations Population Fund.
The theme for this year's World Population Day is "25 years of the ICPD: accelerating the promise". The main objective of the theme is to review the implementation of the action plans during the 25 years and to accelerate the performance according to the promises of 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), held in Egypt. The main implementation areas are gender equality, women empowerment and reproductive health.
Project Officer, UNFPA, Yu Myat Mon said “25 years ago, leaders from 179 countries adopted the action plans for reproductive health. Since Myanmar has signed in this adoption, reviews have been made on the completed tasks and ongoing works. It also has to accelerate the efforts for the unfinished works.”
During 25 years of ICPD promised, many improvements have been found globally. According to global facts and figures, modern contraceptive prevalence rate increased to 58% in 2019. The sexual and reproductive knowledge in the least developed countries has improved with the rates of using family planning in those countries increased to 37% in 2019.
Moreover, in globally, total fertility rate has reduced to 2.5 children per ever married woman in 2019. Especially in developing countries, it has prominently decreased to 3.9 in 2019. The reduction in the total fertility rate, has also resulted in the reduction of maternal mortality ratio to deaths of 216 mothers in every 100,000 live births in 2015.
Since ICPD started, Myanmar has committed the agreements and has also implemented many of the plans.
The Ministry of Health and Sports is successful on the reduction of maternal mortality, from 282 maternal deaths in every 100,000 live births in 2014 as reported from the Census to about 178 in 2015-2016 as reported from the Myanmar Demographic and Health Survey. The figure in 1990 was 453 maternal deaths.
Myanmar has also developed the first National Policy on Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights. Commitment has also been made to the Global Family Planning 2020 in November 2013 with the aim of women's empowerment by putting family planning in equal opportunities for each area.
Among the ever married women contraceptive prevalence rate increased from 16% in 1991 to 51% in 2015-2016 as reported from the Myanmar Demographic and Health Survey.
Director, Department of Population, Khaing Khaing Soe said “We have seen a lot of improvement in knowledge of reproductive health, and mortality rates of mothers and children. But compared with the neighbouring countries, the rate is higher and we have to continue our efforts for this unfinished process.”
The National Strategy for Women Empowerment (2013-2022) has also been laid down and is implementing the different phases for long term. Myanmar has also signed the Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) in 1997.
Women empowerment and gender equality were identified as the major issues in the National Development Plans and the sectorial policies for National Development. Gender equality and women's rights are also added into Myanmar Sustainable Development Plan (MSDP). It is learnt that Myanmar will make new policies, rules and regulations, and amend some policies and articles to be applicable with the current conditions in the country.
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