WHO criticised for suggesting 'women of childbearing age shouldn't drink alcohol'

18 June 2021, 11:57 | Updated: 18 June 2021, 12:30

The WHO have been criticised for suggesting women of childbearing age 'shouldn't drink alcohol' (stock images)
The WHO have been criticised for suggesting women of childbearing age 'shouldn't drink alcohol' (stock images). Picture: Getty
Heart reporter

By Heart reporter

The draft global alcohol action plan 2022-2030 reportedly urges countries to pay ‘appropriate attention to prevention’ of consumption in certain groups.

The World Health Organisation has been criticised for suggesting that women of childbearing age should not drink alcohol.

Officials have been accused of being 'sexist and paternalistic' after reportedly urging countries to pay "appropriate attention to prevention" of consumption in certain groups, including children, teenagers and women of childbearing age in their draft global alcohol action plan 2022-2030. 

As reported by the Telegraph, Matt Lambert, the chief executive of the Portman Group, the social responsibility and regulatory body for alcohol in the UK, said on Wednesday that the WHO had gone "well beyond their remit".

The suggestion has been dubbed 'sexist and paternalistic' (stock image)
The suggestion has been dubbed 'sexist and paternalistic' (stock image). Picture: Getty

He said: "We are extremely concerned by the WHO calling on countries to prevent drinking among women of childbearing age in their latest action plan. 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 WHO has been criticised for the claims (stock image)
The WHO has been criticised for the claims (stock image). Picture: Getty

The Independent reports that the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) states that the draft was a risk to "hard-won women’s rights".

According to reports, the WHO's plan states: The plan says: "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."