Family planning,a panacea to achieving a demographic dividend

As  the  world braces  for the family planning summit scheduled for 11 July 2017 , a lot of issues are  set to  be on the discussion table  ranging from modern family planning  methods ,their safety and other new researchs  that are vital to women’s and girls  health. The summit draws in  policy makers ,donors and the academia to try and make family planning work  to achieve  a demographic dividend in each and every part of the globe  as this helps reduce poverty  . When families are smaller ,they have a greater chance of living a better life opposed to when  families are big  .  This blog focuses much on the importance of family planning in achieving a demographic dividend.

 To begin with , it  is absurd  to note that millions  of women in developing countries are unable to choose the number, time and spacing of their children and consequently  have more  children than they desire .

This is mainly attributed to lack of  modern family planning methods, and in some cases  religious and traditional laws subjugate women and forbid them to use family planning methods, this clearly bottlenecks the ability of women to have autonomy over their bodies  and most importantly their right to choose when to have children and when to stop.

This is worrisome especially when   developing countries wish to achieve  demographic dividend. Economic growth may take place, but when there is overpopulation, chances of everyone being able to fully benefit from resources available becomes limited.

From the researchers definition, Demographic dividend is the accelerated economic growth that results from a sharp decline in a country’s mortality and fertility and the change in the age structure of the population.

A demographic dividend  can only be achieved if a country’s young dependent population grows smaller in relation to the working  age population.

Research has also showed that with fewer people to support, a country has a Window of opportunity for a speedy economic growth.

This clearly highlights the importance of    men and women to actually come out of  their silos and be advocates of change on the family planning issue.

In as much as family planning issues in developing countries is primarily a women’s issue, men  need to be on forefront  in making sure proper and consistent  family planning methods are being used within their families. Failure to do that, the burden of looking after many young dependent children falls heavily on them as their governments are currently not in any better position to look after their children.

The recent move by UNFPA to introduce male family planning pill is a positive step in helping developing countries reduce their family sizes.This also is a positive step in achieving a demographic dividend.

Furthermore , Birth control also is critical to women’s health, equality and economic security. When a woman has few children, she has the ability to feed them and being able to give them meaningful education  which will not make these children dependants in the future.

If men agree to take the family planning pill and also  talk about family planning issues with their families, the chances are high that families will become smaller, healthy and demographic  dividend will take place.

The only problem is that people resist change, they fear that it will bring elements of uncertainty, but in order to achieve a demographic dividend which is much needed, change should be given the opportunity to breed and grow!

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