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Investing in women

THIS is apropos of your editorial, ‘Investing in women’ (July 11), on World Population Day, mentioning the viewpoint of the UN Population Fund, linking the all-round freedom and welfare of girls and women with demographic issues. And you also discussed the issue with reference to Pakistan.

It is, perhaps, known to many that in most of the developed and civilised countries it is being estimated through research that how much load of human population our ‘Mother Earth’ can bear, keeping its natural cycle intact. And what is that line of pressure/limit beyond which the dirty dents created by overflow of mankind in the natural cycle that the Earth would have to destroy some percentage of its living beings or a majority of it?

Advice is pouring in from knowledgeable sources on how to keep the earth happy and healthy. But one thing has been accepted by all in this respect that the ratio of increase in population must be well under the increase in resources in a country or nation so that all could be done to keep Mother Nature in its natural form. It is historically on record that several islands, both large and small, have disappeared because of being overpopulated as a consequence of which they mercilessly destroyed natural habitats there.

Yet another feather should be put in the hat of the UN Population Fund and UN chief Ban Ki-moon for their prominent advice that the empowerment of women through education, healthcare and employment reduces the fertility rate to a great extent. And that creates a positive impact on a country’s population growth and development. Britain, Germany, France, Turkey and Malaysia are some examples.

In Pakistan, the last census of population took place in 1998, which showed the county’s population of being 140 million, showing the increase in population rate as 1.9 per cent, which was not accurate as it was supposed to be more than two per cent.

Now the general opinion is that we are more than 180 million (which has been learnt on account of random samplings carried out by some multinational companies for the production and sales of their commodities). If it is so, then the increase in Pakistan’s population rate is around 3 per cent, which is one of the highest in the world.

There is every possibility that the rate of increase in Pakistan’s population would go on increasing in future. The persons holding chairs of prominence in government should note it carefully that our family planning and education departments have failed terribly on account of corruption and absurd teachings of fanatic mullahs and feudal lords.

The majority of Pakistan lies in rural areas which constitute about 75 per cent of our population. In our cities too there is a large influx of population from rural areas with a rustic mind set-up. We have to empower them with education, healthcare and employment, especially women, so as to bring a change to society and its thinking.

ZAHID BUKHARI
Karachi
Source: Dawn
Date:7/28/2009

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