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PMC Articles Tagged 'education'

Nine Population Strategies to Stop Short of 9 Billion

July 12th, 2012 by PMC | 1 Comment

Press Release by Worldwatch Institute

Washington, D.C.-Although most analysts assume that the world’s population will rise from today’s 7 billion to 9 billion by 2050, it is quite possible that humanity will never reach this population size, Worldwatch Institute President Robert Engelman argues in the book State of the World 2012: Moving Toward Sustainable Prosperity.

In the chapter “Nine Population Strategies to Stop Short of 9 Billion,” Engelman outlines a series of steps and initiatives that would all but guarantee declines in birthrates-based purely on the intention of women around the world to have small families or no children at all-that would end population growth before mid-century at fewer than 9 billion people. “Unsustainable population growth can only be effectively and ethically addressed by empowering women to become pregnant only when they themselves choose to do so,” Engelman writes.

Examples from around the world demonstrate effective policies that not only reduce birth rates, but also respect the reproductive aspirations of parents and support an educated and economically active society that promotes the health of women and girls. Most of these reproduction policies are relatively inexpensive to implement, yet in many places they are opposed on the basis of cultural resistance and political infeasibility.

Eschewing the language and approaches of “population control” or the idea that anyone should pressure women and their partner on reproduction, Engelman outlines nine strategies that could put human population on an environmentally sustainable path.

To read the full article, click here:


A Population Antidote: High School for Girls

April 19th, 2012 by joe | Add a Comment

On April 14th, the NY Times printed “Nigeria Tested by Rapid Rise in Population” written by Elisabeth Rosenthal. On April 16th, she posted a follow-up blog entry on the NY Times Green blog. You can follow Rosenthal on Twitter @nytrosenthal

A Population Antidote: High School for Girls
See: http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/04/16/a-population-antidote-high-school-for-girls/

High school for girls = population control = sustainable growth.

I know this may seem like a simplistic equation. But in interviews on the causes and effects of runaway population growth in Africa for a weekend article in The Times, many experts suggested one singularly effective intervention: make sure that girls to go to high school.

I heard it from Peter Ogunjuyigbe, a demographer in the city of Ile-Ife, Nigeria, who is studying population growth with financing from the Gates Foundation and the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University. I heard it from Parfait M. Eloundou-Enyegue, a development sociologist at Cornell. I heard it most forcefully, perhaps, from Babatunde Osotimehin, the executive director of the United Nations Population Fund, who views population stabilization as tightly linked to female empowerment.

“There are countries where the population is growing faster than the economy,” Mr. Osotimehin, a former Nigerian health minister, said in an interview in New York. “We try to work with these countries to make sure girls have access to education to empower women to participate in politics and the economy.”

At some point along the population growth curve in much of Sub-Saharan Africa, too many people means not enough resources, marked declines in human health and the destruction of critical natural habitat.

So how does requiring secondary education for girls lead to smaller families and a more sustainable world? Let me count the ways.

·  In many African nations, girls are typically only required to attend primary school, if that. That means their schooling ends around age 12 and they are spit out into a world where their future is to be to be married off and start having babies. Not surprisingly, low rates of education for women consistently correlates with high fertility rates. In West and Central Africa over all, 44 percent of girls are married before they turn 18. That figure leaps to 76 percent in Niger, where the fertility rate is the highest in the world (7.3 babies per woman) and many women marry in early adolescence.

To read the full article, please click here: http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/04/16/a-population-antidote-high-school-for-girls/

Abstinence-Only: It’s Baaack

January 9th, 2012 by joe | Add a Comment

Thanks to Steve Kurtz for pointing out this article. See: http://msmagazine.com/blog/blog/2011/12/22/abstinence-only-its-baaack/

Abstinence-Only: It’s Baaack

December 22, 2011 by Andy Kopsa

Reproductive-health experts breathed a sigh of relief in 2009 when President Barack Obama did away with over a decade of funding for abstinence-only funding under previous administrations (which had added up to more than $1.5 billion over ten years). But now, abstinence-only looks to be back on the conservative agenda.

Under Bush, ab-only had become the norm in most U.S. schools, even though study after study [PDF] had revealed its ineffectiveness in reducing the number of teen pregnancies and reducing the spread of disease. According to the Journal of Adolescent Health, virginity pledges-a staple of abstinence-only programming-not only failed to decrease teen STD rates, but actually resulted in pledge-takers avoiding medical attention once infected, leading to increased chances of transmission. So it appeared science had prevailed when President Obama’s 2010 budget swapped out all federally funded ab-only programs for comprehensive sex ed.

That is, until abstinence-only funding reared its ugly head again when Republicans sneaked it into the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2010, to the tune of up to $50 million per year through 2014. And just last weekend, conservatives in Congress pushed through an additional $5 million for ab-only funding in the federal 2012 appropriations bill.

To read the full article, please click here: http://msmagazine.com/blog/blog/2011/12/22/abstinence-only-its-baaack/

Pakistani girls defy Taliban school bombings

December 30th, 2011 by joe | Add a Comment

From the Muslim Women’s Newsletter.

Pakistani girls defy Taliban school bombings

Instead of listening to lectures at their old wooden desks, the girls will be forced to sit on the grass in a courtyard until workers clean the rubble and shattered glass from classrooms pulverized by the bombs

SWABI: Seven-year-old Marwa cried and shook uncontrollably at the sight of the rubble and shattered glass remnants of her classroom. The Taliban had bombed yet another girls’ school in Pakistan.

“I had to pick her up and hold her close to my chest. My worry is that we will spend our time helping the girls deal with fear instead of teaching them math and science,” said head teacher Razia Begum.

“I hope the parents keep sending their children to school.”

Pakistan’s Taliban movement, which is close to al Qaeda, has bombed hundreds of schools since launching a campaign to topple the US-backed government in 2007.

Like Taliban militants in neighboring Afghanistan, the Pakistani Taliban want girls barred from education.

Read the rest of this entry »

Keeping Girls in School: Addressing Early Marriage and Breaking Barriers to Reproductive Health Care

November 18th, 2011 by joe | Add a Comment

From RH Reality Check: http://www.rhrealitycheck.org/reader-diaries/2011/09/28/keeping-girls-school%E2%80%94addressing-early-marriage-breaking-barriers-reproductive-health-care

Keeping Girls in School: Addressing Early Marriage and Breaking Barriers to Reproductive Health Care

reader diary by LindaSuttenfield, Pathfinder International

September 28, 2011

Haregnesh Abetneh is 20 and lives in the Amhara region of Ethiopia. At age three, she was given away in a “promising” marriage. I met Haregnesh on a trip to Ethiopia recently and was awed by her story.

“When I turned 8,” Haregnesh said, “I was already divorced. I wanted to attend school, but my family wanted me to enter another marriage. This created a challenge, but I kept telling my parents that I did not want to get married again. I saw educated people and the difference in their lives. I also had friends who were in early marriages, who began having children very young. I watched as they had no food to eat or feed their children and they just kept getting pregnant and having babies. Some of them experienced prolonged labor and fistula. I could see that they were suffering and I wanted my future to be different.”

Over the last five years as I’ve worked at Pathfinder, I have seen that when girls have educational opportunities, they are empowered to improve their reproductive health and their lives. Conversely, when they are denied education, they are at a higher risk of poverty, HIV and AIDS, gender-based violence, and other harmful traditional practices. Getting and keeping girls in school is one of the best ways to foster later and chosen marriage, thus reducing the risk of maternal death from early child birth. With this fundamental belief in mind, Pathfinder International provides educational support intervention to girls like Haregnesh as an integral part of women and girls’ empowerment efforts.

To read the full article, please click here: http://www.rhrealitycheck.org/reader-diaries/2011/09/28/keeping-girls-school%E2%80%94addressing-early-marriage-breaking-barriers-reproductive-health-care

Education Leads to Lower Fertility and Increased Prosperity

August 15th, 2011 by PMC | Add a Comment

Thanks to Lester Brown and Earth Policy Institute for this article.  See  www.earth-policy.org/data_highlights/2011/highlights13

Education Leads to Lower Fertility and Increased Prosperity

By Brigid Fitzgerald Reading

Earth Policy Release
Data Highlights
May 12, 2011

As the world continues to add close to 80 million people each year, high population growth is running up against the limits of our finite planet, threatening global economic and political stability. To stay within the bounds of the earth’s natural resources, the world’s population will have to stabilize.

The United Nations’ recently revised “medium” projection shows world population exceeding 9 billion by 2045. In the “high” projection, which assumes high levels of fertility, world population would top 10 billion by the same year. But spreading hunger and poverty, along with the conflict and disease that come with them, could forcibly curtail growth before we reach 9 billion. Alternatively, the “low” projection suggests it is possible for world population to peak at just over 8 billion around 2045 if we voluntarily make rapid reductions in family size.

For the rest of the article, please click here: www.earth-policy.org/data_highlights/2011/highlights13

The New Population Bomb

April 4th, 2011 by joe | Add a Comment

From The Key Reporter of Phi Beta Kappa.  See http://www.pbk.org/home/FocusNews.aspx?id=683

Large Cohorts of Educated, Underemployed Youth
By Jack A. Goldstone

As the past month’s events in Tunisia and Egypt have shown, the potential for radical change remains strong in the world – often in some of the places where it was least expected.  Both countries had stable authoritarian regimes that were allied with Europe and the United States and faced no significant organized internal opposition. Yet both were rocked by massive protests by young, underemployed youth.  Indeed, the trigger for all of these events was the tragic death of an unemployed college graduate in Tunisia who set himself on fire in frustration after police confiscated the vegetable cart he was using to try to eke out a living.

Although population growth has been slowing down in the developing world, many countries still are dealing with the legacy of earlier high growth rates in the late 1980s and 1990s, trends that produced very large cohorts of youth that are just now in their teens and twenties. In Egypt and Tunisia, 25 to 30 percent of all adults over age 15 today are between 15 and 24 years old. This is also true in Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Jordan and Syria.

These youth have aspirations that have been fed by education, for high school and university education have expanded greatly in the last two decades throughout the developing world. Yet in too many countries, the great potential of these youth has remained unrealized because corruption and lack of security mean that jobs have not followed. Rather, the benefits of economic growth have gone to small coteries of well-connected elites, often the families of ruling politicians and military officers, while vast numbers of youth with big ideas and hopes have been sidelined.

To read the full article, please click here: http://www.pbk.org/home/FocusNews.aspx?id=683

Our view on kids: When unwed births hit 41%, it’s just not right

February 18th, 2011 by Chantelle Routhier | 1 Comment

What’s the matter with kids today? A great deal more than you might realize.

One-third are overweight or obese. Nearly a third drop out or can’t finish high school in four years. All told, 75% are in such a poor state that they are ineligible for military service for reasons ranging from health to drugs to criminal records to lack of education.

Last month came bad news about the rest: 23% of those who try to enlist fail the basic entrance exam.

Dismayed military leaders and education reformers are quick to blame failing schools, and they’re right. But there’s a deeper issue in play as well – one that gets far too little attention.

For full article, visit:

Women and Higher Education Make Steady Progress in Afghanistan

August 17th, 2010 by Chantelle Routhier | Add a Comment

Thanks to Moya Muller for this article from the Chronicle of Higher Education.

As spring sunshine pours over the campus of Kabul University, three young women sit under an oak tree preparing for their Farsi exam.

Agha Crul Hosaimi, Rana Mohammadi, and Jahantab Jafaree talk cheerfully. All three are from remote provinces of Afghanistan, where women rarely imagine themselves in professional careers.

“I was one of the very few girls in my town allowed to seek higher education,” says Ms. Hosaimi, who, like the others, covers her head with a light scarf. “I was lucky that my parents allowed me to study.”

For full article, visit: