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UNFPA flagship report State of World Population 2017, “Worlds Apart: Reproductive Health and Rights in an Age of Inequality". Unless inequality is urgently tackled and the the poorest women empowered to make their own decisions about their lives, countries could face unrest and threats to peace and to their development goals. The costs of inequalities, including in sexual and reproductive health and rights, could extend to the entire global community’s goals.

Failure to provide reproductive health services, including family planning, to the poorest women can weaken economies and sabotage progress towards the number one sustainable development goal, to eliminate poverty. Economic inequality reinforces and is reinforced by other inequalities, including those in women’s health, where only a privileged few are able to control their fertility, and, as a result, can develop skills, enter the paid labour force and gain economic power.