WHO plan says women of "child-bearing age" shouldn't drink alcohol 1 month ago

WHO plan says women of "child-bearing age" shouldn't drink alcohol

The suggestion has received much backlash.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has released a draft alcohol action plan stating that women of "child-bearing age" should be prevented from drinking alcohol.


The suggestion from the report, aimed at raising awareness of the dangers of alcohol consumption, says that women of child-bearing age (so, between the ages of 18 and 50) should be prevented from drinking alcohol, along with pregnant women, children, and teens.

WHO's Global Alcohol Action Plan 2022-2030 states: “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 child-bearing age."

The draft plan has, naturally, garnered much criticism online and elsewhere, for its "sexist" focus on gender, and the presumption that all women are simply preparing their bodies to have kids. The WHO has also been accused of "scaremongering."

Matt Lambert, CEO of the UK's regulatory body for alcohol of the Portman Group, called the plan “sexist and paternalistic."

“We are extremely concerned by the WHO calling on countries to prevent drinking among women of child-bearing age in their latest action plan" he said. "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.”

The HSE advises against drinking any amount of alcohol during pregnancy to ensure healthy growth inside the womb. They also recommend stopping drinking alcohol if you are trying to become pregnant.