One of the gravest development issues most developing countries in the world are facing is population. As per United Nations population statistics, the world population grew by 30% between 1990 and 2010 which is an alarmingly high rate. Excessive population has various adverse effects including undue pressure on natural resources. More people mean more consumption which in turn means more exploitation of fixed and exhaustible resources. Also population is not a universal challenge. It is specific to nations whose economies have yet not achieved full potential and development. Along with China and India, the African and some Latin countries also see an extremely high population growth rate. Rather China, which is the most populated nation, has achieved a very appreciative control over their growth of population though their ways are highly autocratic and cannot be replicated in other countries.
Below are the most effective measures which can be employed to control population growth:
10. Delayed Marriages
The problem of child marriage is highly prominent in certain countries with high population like India, Pakistan or Bangladesh. A marriage at a tender age leads to a long span for giving birth. Also young age marriage devoid people of the education and awareness required to be sensitive towards and understand the consequences of raising too many children. A UN report has suggested that there would be a significant decline in world population if the legal for marriage is made 20 years.
9. Medical Facilities
One big drawback of developing countries is that of limited and highly centric medical facilities. Because of the high rural-urban divide in developing countries, availability of good hospitals and doctors is limited to urban centers thus resulting in high infant mortality rate in rural areas. Rural people, in order to ensure that at least some of their kids survive, give birth to more and more kids thus contributing to the population growth. If provided with optimum medical facilities population rate will almost certainly decline.
8. Legislative Actions
Not much result can be achieved from these if family planning and use of contraception remains optional instead of mandatory. Strict legal steps are required for child marriage, education, abolition of child labor and beggary and family planning to reap significant benefits from it. Proper enforcement of laws related to child labor, slavery and beggary will ensure that parents don’t sell their children or send them out to work thus forcing them to raise lesser number of kids.
7. Providing Incentives
Incentives have proved to be an efficient policy measure in combating most development issues including population. Providing a health, educational or even financial incentive can be a highly effective population measure. There are certain incentive policies like paying certain some of money to people with not more than two kids or free or discounted education for single child etc. which are in place in most developing countries facing population related challenges and has also proved to be a useful measure.
6. Spread Awareness
People need to be told and made to understand the consequences of having too many children. Government and non-government institutions can carry awareness campaigns informing people how they will be unable to provide good nutrition, education or medical facilities to their children if they have too many. Population is also a reason for illiteracy and diseases and malnutrition and the negative effects of it are required to be communicated to the general public to expand their reasoning and understanding.
5. Women Empowerment
In most developing countries, the women folks are not considered equivalent to men in terms of force and might. Such opinions are extremely common in Islamic countries and even India and Bangladesh. Gender discrimination is a major reason for population growth. People keep giving birth to kids in order to have more sons than daughters. Empowering woman with a say in matters concerning them like child birth and educating them to fight against discrimination will ensure a healthy and aware society.
4. Eradicate Poverty
Why most poor countries have highest population growth instead of rich ones. Poverty has a direct relation to the population growth. In developing countries of Asia and Africa, child labor, slave trading and human trafficking is highly prevalent. African countries for example still have maximum reporting of slave trading though trading of humans is legally banned everywhere in the world. People give birth to kids and sell them to rich people who in turn employ these kids in various laborious and unethical tasks. If not sell, these parents force their kids to beg or work at a very tender so as to earn some extra money for the family. These people believe that more kids mean more hands for begging and work and thus more money. Without concrete measures for growth and poverty eradication, other methods of population control may prove to be ineffective.
Education forms the backbone of an individual and economy. Once educated people know and understand the harms which a high population growth rate possesses. Education, especially women education, can work wonders in controlling population. An educated man and woman can readily understand the benefits of a small family. Without sufficient education most measures like awareness campaigns and women empowerment will prove to be insufficient and pointless.
2. Easy and Cheap availability of Contraceptives
Ensuring that people have easy and cheap access to contraception tools will help avoiding cases of unwanted pregnancies and births. Every state owned hospital should be made to provide cheaply efficient birth control medicines or surgeries since poor people have neither the means not awareness to use contraception. Use of condoms and contraceptives must be advertised and promoted along with ensuring cheap and ready access to these. Contraceptives do not only prove to be an important population control measure but also prevents spreading of sexually transmitted diseases like AIDS thus ensuring small healthy families.
Why the enormous population and the increasing rate of it is the biggest challenge faced by the developing nations of Africa and Asia while the same is a little or no threat in countries like America, Europe or Japan. Lack of Development implies high poverty, high illiteracy, high discrimination, lack of awareness, lack of medical facilities and thus in turn increased population growth. Any economy is termed developed is its population is non-discriminated and just. By reducing discrimination between gender and class and ensuring development of the whole population instead of a given segment of society would eliminate the challenge of population growth for once.