World Population Day

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By Jane Roberts

 

I wrote this little essay for LINKEDIN and it has been read by over 70 of my “followers”. Although I don’t say it, so much of what I wrote here has to do with gender inequality and so much of gender inequality has to do with the world’s main religions. Why don’t countries take care of women? Why don’t governments budget enough for family planning commodities and health workers? Why is abortion illegal in so many places when it is a leading cause of death among young girls? Why are two thirds of the illiterate people on the planet women and girls? There is HUGE evidence that the less RELIGIOUS a country, the more gender equality exists. And the more there is gender equality, the more prosperity and stability prevail. The following is my little essay.

July 11 is World Population Day marked every year since 1989 and established that year by the Governing Council of the United Nations Development Program. Every day we read about droughts, floods, fires, starvation, climate change, conflicts over resources especially water, conflicts over religion, refugees fleeing misery and violence including gender based violence and on and on. It is going to get worse.

The theme of this year’s WPD was “Family Planning is a Human Right”. It should be universally accessible, safe, and offered in an atmosphere of privacy and confidentiality. Millions of people lack access. Millions of women are disempowered in this area of their lives. Many young girls are forced to marry when their bodies are not mature enough for healthy pregnancies. They can suffer severe injury and even death.

According to the U.N. World Population Clock human numbers as of July 2018 reached 7.6 billion with predictions of another billion added every 14 years. This is not good. The conditions we see now are going to be exacerbated by a large influx of young people who, in countries such as in India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and sub-Sharan Africa will all want an education and chances for a decent life. Hopelessness can breed extremism and nihilism.

Education and health for boys and girls, men and women are the underpinnings of any decent society. Educated healthy people make good choices. Let’s think about this and take steps to encourage our own government to support family planning both here and throughout the world. This is good public policy both for the world and for us. If you are so moved, and an American, please join 34 Million Friends of the United Nations Population Fund. www.34millionfriends.org

Jane Roberts

July 28, 2018

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