225 million women in the developing world want to avoid a pregnancy but are not using a modern method of contraception. This reflects women’s diminutive roles, even in relationships with their partners and spouses concerning the number of children to have, more than it reflects a lack of access. By weakening and eliminating scourges like child marriage — along with strengthening women’s rights — global population will stabilize and start a gradual decline sooner rather than later. No doubt the natural world will applaud this, as will the individuals around the world benefiting from healthier communities and a more stable climate.
Vigorous pursuit of equal rights for women and girls, including women’s reproductive self-determination and girls’ education, is the heart of good population advocacy.