July 11, 2023

Staff Report


With an estimated 240.5 million people currently residing in the country, projections indicate that Pakistan’s population could reach a staggering 403 million by 2050, underscoring the need for urgent action, according to a statement by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

As Pakistan constitutes nearly 3 percent of the global population, the nation’s well-being and progress hold great significance on a global scale, the Fund observed. The rapid rise in the country’s population growth presents significant challenges to gender equality, women’s empowerment, and access to quality education and healthcare.

The UNFPA held that by investing in women’s health and education, addressing gender disparities, and providing economic opportunities, Pakistan can pave the way for a sustainable and prosperous future.

UNFPA Pakistan representation Dr. Luay Shabaneh stresses the need to upscale maternal health and access to family planning. She stated that delays in these areas hinder the collective ability to create positive change. Furthermore, societal norms, attitudes, and practices that perpetuate gender discrimination and inequality need to be challenged in order to enable an environment where everyone, regardless of gender, can thrive and contribute to societal betterment.

Addressing disparities and empowering women and girls will unlock immense potential for Pakistan, fostering inclusive societies and working towards a brighter future, Dr. Shabaneh added, emphasizing that the time for action is now. The UNFPA urged the government as well as organizations, communities and individuals to reaffirm their commitment to achieving gender equality.

Not only is gender equality a fundamental human right, but it also acts as a catalyst for sustainable development. By embracing gender equality, society can uplift the voices of women and girls, unlocking infinite possibilities for a more equitable world.

This year, the focus in Pakistan must shift from mere population numbers to unleashing the power of gender equality, the UNFPA held. Gender-based discrimination not only harms individuals but also undermines societal progress and well-being as a whole. Women and girls continue to face numerous barriers and inequalities that limit their opportunities and stifle their potential.

World Population Day, celebrated annually on 11 July, aims to raise awareness about global population issues and promote dialogue on the importance of reproductive health, gender equality, and sustainable development. The UNFPA reiterated its commitment to working with the government of Pakistan and other partners to address the challenges and opportunities presented by the country’s growing population.


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