Press Release

The power to choose the number, timing and spacing of children can bolster economic and social development

26 October 2018

The global trend towards smaller families, including in Cambodia, is a reflection of people making reproductive choices to have as few or as many children as they want, when they want. When people lack choice, it can have a long-term impact on fertility rates, often making them higher or lower than what most countries’ desire, according to The State of World Population 2018, released today by the United Nations Population Fund, UNFPA in Cambodia.

 

Family size is closely linked with reproductive rights, which, in turn, are tied to many other rights, including the right to adequate health, education, and jobs. When people can exercise their rights, they tend to thrive. When these rights are stifled, people often fail to achieve their full potential, impeding economic and social progress, according to the new report, titled, “The Power of Choice: Reproductive Rights and the Demographic Transition.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

When a woman has the power and means to prevent or delay a pregnancy, she has more control over her health. She can choose to enter or stay in the paid labour force and realize her full economic potential.

 

“Sadly, young people remain vulnerable to major health risks, in fact, one in eight adolescent girls have already become a mother or is currently pregnant with her first child.” highlights Ms. Rizvina de Alwis, UNFPA Representative at the launch of the report.

As the report found that no country, regardless of socioeconomic status, can claim that all of its citizens enjoy reproductive rights at all times, UNFPA Cambodia is ready to tackle the remaining challenges in its next country programme 2019-2023.

 

“Notwithstanding the decline of total fertility rate in Cambodia, the level of unmet need for modern methods of contraception remains high at 12.5% with higher rates among rural and younger women,” stresses Ms. Rizvina de Alwis, UNFPA representative of Cambodia. She underlines that if the unmet need for family planning is addressed, women will be better able to exercise choice in their reproductive lives, empower themselves and transform their families and the communities in which they live.

 

 

 

 

 

 

During the report launch, experts from relevant ministries, representatives from civil society, and youth will discuss with a majority-youth audience on ways to create spaces for women and young people; spaces to have more choices to lead their healthy lives and to reaffirm promising strategies to address the challenging next steps.  

 

The launch of the report will be held on Friday 26 October 2018 from 9:00 – 11:00 a.m. at the Crystal ball room of Hotel Phnom Penh by UNFPA and the Ministry of Planning.

 

To access full report: https://www.unfpa.org/swop-2018