Selected news stories from the international press relating to Asian (In)Fertilities:
Programmes planned to mark Population Day in Pakistan - Daily Times
(6 July 2009)
ISLAMABAD: The government has chalked out elaborate programmes to observe World Population Day on July 11 (Saturday) with emphases on making the masses aware of safe motherhood and reducing infant and maternal mortality rates.
The federal and provincial governments have finalised their arrangements and will hold seminars and rallies to involve public in the population welfare activities. The main ceremony of the day will be held in Islamabad. The function is likely to be attended by federal ministers and parliamentarians. Female parliamentarians have been especially invited to the event. This year’s theme for the day is to spread awareness of the importance of educating girls on a wide range of issues, including poverty, human rights and gender equality. Campaign: The uniqueness of the day in Pakistan will be an extensive campaign in mosques to sensitise people to Islamic views on family planning and its importance for a healthy society. Ulema and religious scholars will spearhead the campaign. Media will also play its role and publish articles and reports on the challenges facing Pakistan due to its burgeoning population. The media will make people familiar about the available opportunities, which can be utilised to ease population pressure on limited resources. Pakistan with a population of around 165 million is the sixth most populous country in the world. However, the demographic transition has started and the fertility indicators are showing a positive trend. The population growth rate, which was over three percent in the 1980s, now has declined to 1.8 percent. According to Minister for Population Welfare Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan, the total fertility rate has come down to four children per woman but contraceptive prevalence rate of 30 percent remains very low and if the current population growth rate is not harnessed, the population of Pakistan will be doubled in next 39 years. Last week, the Ministry of Population Welfare organised a one-day national seminar on ‘Involvement of Religious Scholars in Population Welfare Programme’ in the federal capital. At the event, notable religious scholars from different schools of thought presented their recommendations for better family welfare programmes under the Islamic guidelines.