Zero population growth vs. population control
Knowledge is power, but with the caveat that said knowledge is based in fact. Otherwise, it’s misinformation
The demographic dividend
Dr. Kalasa, Director of the Technical Division at UNFPA, says that the addition of two billion people in the next 30 years will pose challenges, but will also bring “tremendous opportunity” in the form of a demographic dividend
This shrinking of the base of a country’s population pyramid allows economies to develop
The demographic dividend is typically considered a one-generation “bonus” period, but the benefits of smaller families extend far beyond that relatively short window
Giving readers the impression that population growth can be the silver bullet that helps an economy grow — when the population is growing most rapidly in the poorest, least developed countries — is what economists in high-income countries are known for doing
Zero Population Growth vs. population control
More troubling than the faulty description of the demographic dividend was the handling of what could have been an interesting conversation about population stabilization efforts around the world by countries that signed on to the 1994 Programme of Action at the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in Cairo, and by the international donor and NGO communities.
Dr. Kalasa responded to a question about the “1960s concept of Zero Population Growth (ZPG)” with a reassurance that UNFPA rejects “population control” and only supports voluntary, rights-based family planning
It’s understandable that UNFPA would want to make absolutely clear that its mission and programs steer clear of population control. All rights-based population groups, including Population Connection (which was founded under the name “Zero Population Growth”), engage in the same reassurances.
Every Republican president in the United States since Ronald Reagan (including Donald Trump) has denied funding to UNFPA based on a fallacious interpretation of the Kemp-Kasten Amendment
Never mind that UNFPA’s
Striving for zero population growth via voluntary fertility decline, however, has nothing to do with population control. Family planning programs that expand access to modern contraceptive education, services, and
There are an estimated 214 million women in the developing world who have an unmet need for family planning: They do not want to become pregnant in the next two years, but they are not using modern contraception.
Their reasons for nonuse range from fear of side effects to living too far from a clinic to having unsupportive partners. These barriers, and more, can be address through education about myths regarding side effects; offering a full range of contraceptive options so that women can find the methods that work best for them; mobile outreach units that travel to rural areas; and partner education (and when that fails, through methods that are discreet and less likely to be detected by an unsupportive partner).
None of these strategies falls under population control, and yet they all bring us closer to zero population growth. –– IPS