Population Matters

The feminist case for smaller families

The feminist case for smaller families

Research suggests that having fewer children is good for women's well-being as well as for the environment

Not only is the choice to have fewer children good for the environment, it can also help to reduce maternal mortality, reduce female poverty and improve women’s empowerment.

This is the conclusion of a briefing published by Population Matters, which puts the feminist case for having fewer or no children.

The briefing finds that reducing the number of children has positive consequences for women’s health, education and finances, as well as helping to make society more gender equitable.

Having smaller families means women spend less time pregnant or raising children and are thus less likely to suffer death or disability from pregnancy or childbirth and more likely to have free time, which can be used to complete or further education, work outside of the home and participate in public life.

The overall well-being of women and girls improves as the average number of children they have falls

By choosing to have smaller families, women can pursue better work and career opportunities, are less likely to live in poverty and can afford to spend more time and resources on their own welfare and/or the welfare of family that they already have.

For these reasons and more, the International Centre for Research on Women has found that the overall well-being of women and girls improves as the average number of children they have falls.

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