World Health Organization Under Fire For Saying Women Of Childbearing Age Shouldn’t Drink Alcohol

WHO Says Women Of Childbearing Age Shouldnt Drink Alcohol Reaction


  • The World Health Organization is being called sexist for saying women of childbearing age should never drink alcohol.
  • This controversial stance is part of the WHO’s draft global alcohol action plan for 2022-2030.
  • More culture news here.

The World Health Organization (WHO) is being heavily criticized for suggesting that all women of childbearing age should never drink alcohol as part of its draft global action plan for 2022-2030.

The organization is being called “sexist and paternalistic” as it urges countries to pay “appropriate attention should be given to prevention of the initiation of drinking among children and adolescents, prevention of drinking among pregnant women and women of childbearing age.”

Matt Lambert, chief executive of the Portman Group, the social responsibility and regulatory body for alcohol in the UK, lambasted the WHO for its suggestion, reports the Telegraph.

“We are extremely concerned by the WHO calling on countries to prevent drinking among women of childbearing age in their latest action plan,” said Lambert.” As well as being sexist and paternalistic, and potentially restricting the freedoms of most women, it goes well beyond their remit and is not rooted in science.

“It is wrong to scaremonger in this irresponsible way and associate women’s alcohol-related risks with those of children and pregnant people.”

Christopher Snowdon, the head of lifestyle economics at the Institute of Economic Affairs, said about the WHO plan, “This is classic World Health Organization idiocy. Not content with repeatedly dropping the ball on Covid-19 and dishing out awards to politicians for banning vaping, it now thinks most of the world’s women should abstain from alcohol.

“The idea that it is unsafe for women of childbearing age to drink any alcohol is unscientific and absurd. Moreover, it is none of the WHO’s business.”

Hannah Ord, a researcher at the Adam Smith Institute, called the suggestion “ludicrous and sexist” and could result in women not following other health advice.

Colin Angus, a senior research fellow who specializes in alcohol at Sheffield University, told MailOnline he would be “amazed” if the WHO draft guidance passes.

“The suggestion that we should actively prevent a substantial proportion of women from drinking is completely at odds with the balance of the risks of drinking and restrictions on personal freedom that we see in almost any country in the world,’ said Angus.

“There are specific ethical issues around the fact that drinking in pregnancy has a detrimental effect on somebody other than the drinker — their unborn child.

“And the highest risk period for drinking is in the first few weeks of pregnancy when many women may not yet be aware they are pregnant.”

Richard Piper, chief executive of Alcohol Change UK, said about the WHO’s advice, “Drinking alcohol in the early stages of pregnancy, even before many people realize they’re pregnant, can be very damaging for a fetus.

“It’s important that people understand these risks, but also vital that we balance this against each adult’s right to make informed decisions about what we do with our bodies, no matter our age or sex.”

Many people on social media were no less thrilled than the aforementioned experts regarding the World Health Organization’s stance on women of child-bearing age drinking alcohol.

Dag Rekve from the WHO’s Alcohol, Drugs and Addictive Behaviours Unit attempted to clarify their statement to the BBC Woman’s Hour on Thursday.

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