All woman of childbearing age shouldn’t drink alcohol, says the World Health Organisation.
The recommendation was made in a recent draft Global Alcohol Action Plan.
The plan claims anti-drinking campaigns should target particularly women due to the risk of damaging a baby in the womb, regardless of whether or not they intend to get pregnant.
The recommendation could mean that for several decades of women’s lives, they should avoid drinking alcohol completely.
Child-bearing age is generally assumed to last until around fifty years old when women typically start to go through menopause.
The WHO documents states that “appropriate attention should be given” to the “women of childbearing age.”
“Appropriate attention should be given to the prevention of the initiation of drinking among children and adolescents, prevention of drinking among pregnant women and women of childbearing age, and protection of people from pressures to drink, especially in societies with high levels of alcohol consumption where heavy drinkers are encouraged to drink even more,” Metro reports.
Though the recommendation has received criticism.
Speaking with the Telegraph Matt Lambert, the chief executive of the Portman Group and regulator for alcohol labeling in the UK 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.”
Colin Angus, who specializes in studying alcohol at Sheffield University, U.K, claimed the prevention would seem “completely disproportionate.”
“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,” Angus told the MailOnline.
“These risks need to be balanced with concerns about policing women’s bodies and restricting their civil liberties. The suggestion we prevent women from drinking seems to me to be completely disproportionate.”
What do you think about the prospect of fertile women not being allowed to drink alcohol?