A survey by the UN sexual and reproductive health agency, UNFPA in 51 countries found that more than 4 out of 10 women had no choice but to agree to their partner’s sexual demands.
A part of UNFPA’s State of World Population 2019 report, the survey of women aged between 15 and 49 also found that they were also unable to make basic decisions about getting pregnant and accessing health care for themselves.
According to the report, an estimated 214 million women could not easily access contraceptives because of cultural and economic obstacles – despite their increasing availability. More than 800 women die every day from preventable causes during pregnancy and childbirth.
The report also said that the absence of reproductive and sexual rights has major and negative repercussions on women’s education, income and safety, leaving them “unable to shape their own futures”.
On the positive side, the report said that the average number of births per woman came down from 4.8 in 1969, to 2.9 in 1994, and 2.5 today. While 24 per cent of women used modern contraceptives in 1969, that percentage increased to 52 per cent in 1994 and 58 per cent in 2019.