A new Guttmacher study, entitled <a href= “http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/gpr/14/3/gpr140302.html” target= “_blank”>”The World at Seven Billion: Global Milestone a Reflection of Individual Needs,”</a>  found that empowering women and couples is imperative to addressing the economic, developmental, environmental, and social challenges that will be present when the world’s population reaches seven billion. The United Nations estimates that by the end of this year, the world’s population will be seven billion and by the middle of the century, it will grow to be over nine billion.

Susan Cohen, the author of the study, stated, “Especially in the developing world, millions of women and couples are still unable to control the timing, spacing, and total number of children they have because of the barriers they face to obtaining and using contraceptives. Recognizing this fact provides a road map for action that simultaneously addresses the needs of people and our planet.”

According to the Guttmacher Institute, approximately “215 million women in developing countries have an unmet need for contraception.” Enabling women, primarily those living in South Central Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Southeast Asia, to obtain contraceptive services, may help to ultimately slow population growth, Cohen indicated.

Guttmacher Institute 8/29/11; “The World at Seven Billion: Global Milestone A Reflection of Individual Needs” Summer 2011

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