Home Page - Gulf in the Media
HomePoliticsEconomy                               Set Gulfinthemedia.com as home page
Opinions
"Postings of opinions published in the Gulf and international newspapers
 Print  Send This Page
Save Listen to this Article
Why girls are the solution to 'overpopulation'   

Arab News - 10 May, 2012
Author: Nowell Sukkar Blacklaw

In the midst of rapid, constant and never-ending change it is easy to overlook one of the fundamental causes at the core of many social, economic and environmental problems… "overpopulation."

Demographers, environmentalists and scientists estimate that the earth has the capacity to support and sustain approximately 4 billion people. At this point in time we are 7 billion, the United Nations projects this to reach 9.3 billion by 2040.

Population growth is destroying ecosystems, affecting climate change and causing loss of agricultural land to residential and industrial development.

China has succeeded with its one child policy which has prevented more than 400 million births since its inception.

India, however, increases its population every year by approximately 25 million.

The Philippines is already beyond its carrying capacity, its population is close to 100,000,000 the country can no longer feed itself, and has become the biggest rice importer on the planet.

What it desperately needs is a government-supported family planning program, but this is proving to be impossible, some blame the lack of progress (with passing a reproductive health bill in Congress) on corruption, others blame the Catholic Church and while the battle of ideologies rather than economics continues 2 million Filipino babies are born every year.

A recent study by the Guttmacher Institute found that the cost of providing birth control to the quarter billion women on the planet, who want it, is about $ 4.50 a year per woman, this could be the difference between having 8 billion mouths to feed by the end of the century, instead of 15 billion.

The UK government’s chief scientist has warned that food reserves are at a fifty-year low and that the world will require 50 percent more energy, food and water by 2030.

We need to break the vicious cycle of poverty, lack of education, lack of employment and incessant breeding which has left many charities; NGO’s and aid organizations overwhelmed and forever playing catch up.

The solution to this problem rests on the shoulders of all 12-year-old girls living in poverty.

If we can support girls, by providing them with a safe environment to learn, give them life skills, mentoring and nutrition we can go above and beyond impacting the life of a child. We will impact the whole family, the whole tribe and its community in the most positive way.

Last December as I traveled through Egypt, the Arab world’s most populous nation, with an estimated population of 90 million, I was able to interview many people in Arabic, as I spoke with one, others would gather around anxious to tell their stories; the common thread of despair, frustration and hopelessness was evident in all.

Mona, a single mother of six, in Luxor said “my husband left when I was seven months pregnant, he told me he would send money once he found work.” A year later she learned he was in Cairo with another woman and a baby on the way. “I cannot send my girls to school, I cannot pay for shoes or books,” She said.

Divorce is endemic; most re-marry and have more children they cannot support. It is girls who suffer most; many are married off as soon as they are old enough to bring in a dowry, usually to a much older man.

Souad another single mother, has four children, her husband went to Saudi Arabia three years ago, he sent her a message, saying that he had met someone else and was starting a new life. Souad said: “He promised to send money, he lied, we needed food, I sent my 14-year-old daughter to work in Cairo, the broker told me she would come home every 6 months; that was 2 years ago.” Souad is desperate; she has 2 other daughters and is scared of what their fate will be.

I was unable to reach remote country areas where I’m told there is a growing trend of exploitation of young Egyptian girls by their families and brokers, who arrange what is known as “seasonal marriages.” These marriages provide a smokescreen for exploitation by wealthy married men.

Female children, in small villages are forced to marry against their will in order to provide money for their families.

The girl is taken as a bride so that the man is not shunned by his community. Within 3-6 months the girl is divorced, in most cases she is too ashamed to return home, often remaining and existing in abuse and enslavement by the first wife. This is also common practice in Yemen. While girls in developed countries have the freedom to go to school, raise their hands in class and share their opinions, girls in developing countries are burdened with chores and responsibilities from a very young age.

There are many reasons for high illiteracy amongst girls in developing countries; society shapes their role and too often cultural and religious practices such as female genital mutilation are the cause of such unbelievable suffering, that attending school is the least of a child’s worries.

A girl should be able to study in a safe, peaceful environment; however life in most homes is harsh and cramped. Families have many children; noisy toddlers are a constant burden on their older sisters.

Mothers do not allow their girls to study until housework and other chores such as collecting water are done, once these are attended to, girls have very little time or energy for homework.

Poverty is the reason why many girls in developing countries cannot go to school. They marry early, work in the fields or as domestic laborers in order to help their families put food on the table.

The solution starts with a 12-year-old girl. Don’t take her out of school when she’s old enough to bring in a dowry, provide an incentive for her family (i.e. a cow, a goat or plough), keep her there through secondary school and then connect her to a decent job.

When I presented this information to The CORONA charity group, Riyadh chapter, it’s members voted overwhelmingly to allocate a substantial part of funds raised in 2012 to the girl effect.

We all have a social responsibility to provide an incentive to poor families to send their girls to school please visit www.girleffect.org or www.globalgiving.org.
 
Damascus: Quieter and calmer
Source : Gulf Today  
Date : 2015-08-03
Author : Michael Jansen
The heat wave gripping this region is inflicting severe punishment on war-torn Syria due to power cuts. Aleppo seems to be suffering most. A resident, who just arrived in Damascus...
Hot summer!
Source : Saudi Gazette  
Date : 2015-08-03
Author : Hussein Shobokshi
Summer to the Arabs is not a "hot" season as far as the temperature is concerned but it is always considered a "hot" period as far as the political and...
Understanding the true role of women in society
Source : Arab News  
Date : 2015-08-03
Author : Saad Al-Dosari
Witnessing two harassment incidents in two different cities of the Kingdom separated by a few days was very disturbing, but the opinions that followed the incidents deeming them rare and...
Yanbu gears up to become a tourist destination
Source : Arab News  
Date : 2015-08-03
Author : Sabria S. Jawhar
Yanbu has always had a special place in my heart. It's where my maternal grandparents were born and raised. Yanbu was their home before they left with my mother on...
Freeing ME region of WMDs
Source : Arab News  
Date : 2015-08-03
Author : Seema Sengupta
Can the "breakthrough agreement" reached between Iran and P5+1 group of nations led by America herald lasting peace in the Middle-East and make the world "safer and more secure?"...
Aramco Brats: I didn't know
Source : Arab News  
Date : 2015-08-03
Author : Abdulateef Al-Mulhim
Even though I have never worked for Saudi Aramco, I have been a close follower of this company. I had to. I was born and raised in the middle of...
Will Oman be next to deregulate petrol prices?
Source : Oman Daily Observer  
Date : 2015-08-03
Author : Ray Petersen
The neighbouring government of the United Arab Emirates, through its Minister of Energy, Said al Mazroui, has announced that from August 1, fuel prices will be de-regulated as that nation...
Iran Between Two Fantasies
Source : Asharq Al-Awsat  
Date : 2015-08-02
Author : Amir Taheri
What does a salesman do when he knows that the product he is pushing is not what it is claimed to be? He tries to stress other advantages the buyer...
Is the Gulf's Relationship with Washington a Mistake?
Source : Asharq Al-Awsat  
Date : 2015-08-02
Author : Abdulrahman al-Rashed
The US administration's deal with Iran on its nuclear program, which ends sanctions and paves the way for rapprochement with Tehran, was viewed by some as a rather low move...
Invasion…25 yrs on
Source : Arab Times  
Date : 2015-08-02
Author : Ahmed Al-Jarallah
Today, the anniversary of Saddam's invasion of Kuwait comes with all its miseries and painful events. It is remembered by minds that are still in pain; thinking about our prisoners...
Unity key to face crises
Source : Kuwait Times  
Date : 2015-08-02
Author : Abd Al-Rahman Alyan
On Aug 2, 1990, Saddam Hussein ordered his troops to invade Kuwait, a historic moment that exposed the true fragility of Arab unity. It was a day that also proved...
Why Yemeni VP's Aden visit is a first ray of hope
Source : Al Arabiya TV  
Date : 2015-08-02
Author : Andrew Bowen
Two weeks after forces loyal to Yemen's President Hadi recaptured Aden, Khaled Bahah, Yemen's Vice President and the Prime Minister of its Riyadh-based government, arrived in Aden yesterday with a...
Learning to pay more for gasoline
Source : Arab News  
Date : 2015-08-02
Author : Rasheed Abou-Alsamh
The move by the United Arab Emirates to raise the price of gasoline at the pump by 24 percent from Aug. 1 was a brave one and is a sign...
Egyptian concern over Saudi options
Source : The Peninsula  
Date : 2015-08-02
Author : Khalid al-Dakhil
On June 1, a remarkable event marked Saudi-Egyptian relations. On that day, Saudi and Egyptian newspapers published similar reports to confirm that there is no disagreement between Riyadh and Cairo...
Media must play responsible social role
Source : Saudi Gazette  
Date : 2015-08-02
Author : Khaled Al Maeena
Have the media organizations played a role in the development of media in the Kingdom? An American journalist asked me this question a week ago....
Total 200 Results in 14 Pages
  2 
For more news, views and reports about this topic, please subscribe
to GRC website: www.grc.net
Wed Aug 5, 2015| 19-شوال-1436هـ
GCC: 'We want Tehran's cooperation, not meddling'
Erdogan says Putin could soon 'give up' on Al-Assad
Arab coalition will continue to back Yemen: Mohamed
Majority in US House oppose Iran nuclear deal
Oil sinks to 6-month low amid weak data, slump in gasoline
Saudi-Indian defense ties soar
Tourism, realty sectors aided UAE's 2014 GDP
US to speed up arms sales to Gulf: Kerry
Iraqi Kurdish leader pledges no mercy for Daesh militants
Nuclear deal a 'third way' for Iranian foreign policy: Rohani
Riyadh real estate market saw subdued growth in Q2
Saudi Cabinet blasts terrorist crimes of Israeli settlers
Mapna to build major power plant in Iraq
New proposal to solve Syrian crisis
Qatar says Gulf Arabs confident region safer with Iran deal
Iran plans to issue foreign banks setup permit
Dubai eyes more records with Meydan One project
  Op-Ed
Hitting Boko Haram
The migrant crisis: Spiralling out of control
Reconciliation idea with Iran is fruitless
Let Syrians decide their future
More>>  
    Reports
30m Umrah pilgrims in five years: Hajjar
Kuwait Budget 2015/2016
GCC Real Estate Quarterly – 1Q15
More>>  
    GCC Press Agencies
Day's main stories from the GCC Press Agencies
    GRC Analysis
Bright Future for Green Jobs in the GCC
Oman-ASEAN Relations
UAE-ASEAN Relations
    GRC Commentary
Using the Iran Nuclear Accord to Advance Regional Security
Reduce your Footprint in Ramadan
A Gulf Perspective on the 'Obama Doctrine'
    GRC Press Release
Gulf Research Center press releases to the media
    GRC Publications
Realigning Ecological Needs and Economic Growth to Formulate Environmental Policy for the Gulf States
Oman’s Legal Framework of Migration
A Gulf Conference for Security and Cooperation Could Bring Peace and Greater Security to the Middle East
    GRC Newsletters/Bulletins

Enter your email to get the Newsletter
Go
      
Privacy Policy | Contact Us | Terms & Conditions | About Us |
Weather | Qibla Directions | Hijri Date Conversion Tool
Full Page :total time:0  |   36-- 36 Middle Page :0  --   | Right : 36 - 36--en--sess-enreq-en-coming