Partners in Creating the Future
Jordan Joins the World in Celebrating the World’s Population Day
Jordan Joins the World in Celebrating the World’s Population Day
Saturday, 11 July 2020

In a special press release issued by the Higher Population Council on the occasion of the World’s Population day on July 11, the Council’s Secretary General, Dr. Abla Amawi, noted that the Covid-19 pandemic has laid bare health and socio-economic challenges that directly impact all population groups, particularly the most vulnerable (e.g., the poor, persons with disabilities, refugees, workers in the informal sector, foreign laborers, female-headed families, and youth). As Jordan commemorates the Day’s theme of “Safeguarding the health and rights of women and girls around the world-even during COVID-19”, Dr. Amawi added that the pandemic is expected to have long-term implications on human capital, as it is more than just a health crisis and will result in repercussions on all aspects of life.  


Dr. Amawi stressed that crisis response plans must integrate and focus on population dynamics and the challenges faced by different population groups, including, for example, the unmet needs for spacing pregnancies or limiting births among nearly 14.2% of currently married women who are not using contraceptives, with rates varying by governorate. The 2017-2018 Population and Family Health Survey of 2012 further revealed that 20.3% of women with unmet needs have no education, and 16.8% are in the lowest wealth quintile.  


Dr. Amawi further noted that the Survey of 2017-2018 revealed that 21% of ever-married women aged 15-49 have experienced physical violence at least once since the age of 15, while 2% have experienced physical violence during pregnancy. Additionally, 26% of ever-married women aged 15-49 have experienced spousal physical, sexual or emotional violence; 21% have experienced emotional violence, 18% physical violence and 5% spousal sexual violence. Only one in five women (19%) who have experienced a form of physical or sexual violence sought help to stop the violence, while two-thirds of women have never sought help or told anyone about the violence based on the Survey’s results.

The Higher Population Council highlighted the findings of the State of World Population-2020 report published by UNFPA showed a mixed picture of progress on gender equality globally. Despite strong advances towards gender parity in access to healthcare and education, discrimination and marginalization are still evident around the world. In 57 countries, only 55% of women aged 15-49 who are married or in a union make their own decisions about the use of contraceptives and reproductive health services. As the COVID-19 pandemic spreads, the number of women unable to access family planning, facing unintended pregnancies, gender-based violence and other harmful practices could increase. Statistics have revealed the enormous impact of Covid-19 on women as health systems become overloaded, facilities close or only provide a limited set of services to women and girls, and many choose to skip important medical checkups due to fear of contracting the virus.  


To mark the World Population Day, HPC will organize various activities including a national webinar on sexual and reproductive health during the time of Covid-19, and will also release a study entitled “an assessment of the current situation of sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights awareness programs for adolescents and youth in Jordan”. HPC will also hold youth competitions on video production, short story writing and creation of wall murals depicting the impact of Covid-19 on youth to help focus attention on the creativity of youth during lockdown. In addition, HPC Secretary General will lead an online experts’ meeting organized by the Arab Council for Population and Development/League of Arab States to review the direct economic, political, social and health impact of Covid-19 on various population groups, particularly the most affected and most vulnerable. Dr. Amawi currently serves as the president of the Arab Council for Population and Development at its first session.


Established in 1989, the World Population Day was inspired by interest in the day the world’s population reached approximately 5 billion on July 11, 1987. According to the United Nations, the world’s population currently exceeds 7.7 billion and is expected to reach 9.7 billion by 2050, and 11 billion by 2100.