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.
 
Scepticism over force plan to fight IS
Source : The Peninsula  
Date : 2014-09-15
Author : Loveday Morris
Watban Al Jabbouri is the kind of man that the Iraqi and US governments are depending on to turn the tide against the Islamic State fighters who have seized a...
'Set up taskforce of moderates'
Source : Arab Times  
Date : 2014-09-15
Author : Khaled Aljenfawi
According to the Finance Minister Anas Al-Saleh Kuwait would be joining ranks with the Arab League in a coalition against ''all terrorism", as the state pursues "egal action" against Kuwaitis...
Iranian 'fire' is burning Houthi
Source : Arab Times  
Date : 2014-09-15
Author : Ahmed Al-Jarallah
Does Abdul Malik Al-Houthi think his terrorist acts will frighten Yemenis? Does he think his effort to follow the Lebanese Hezbollah's example of organizing a sit-in or closing roads...
The new Arab axis
Source : Khaleej Times  
Date : 2014-09-15
Author : Dr Ahmed Mokhtar
Between day and night, the US-European approach towards the threats of armed groups in Iraq and Syria shifted from anticipation and silence to slow reluctant steps in the direction of...
More justice to women
Source : Saudi Gazette  
Date : 2014-09-15
Author : Mahmoud Ahmad
The Supreme Judicial Council, after a week-long meeting in Jeddah, arrived at the decision to grant divorcees, who have been permitted child custody by the court, to process the paperwork...
Challenges facing the anti-IS coalition
Source : Arab News  
Date : 2014-09-15
Author : Abdel Aziz Aluwaisheg
Last Thursday (Sept.11), Jeddah hosted a key meeting to form a strategy to confront the terrorist group known as the Islamic State (IS) or the Islamic State in Iraq and...
People with disabilities and social integration
Source : Arab News  
Date : 2014-09-15
Author : Saad Dosari
In the building where my office is situated, there is a young man who inspires me — every time I see him leaving his car in the morning, hanging out...
Effects of negative media portrayal
Source : Arab News  
Date : 2014-09-15
Author : Talal Al-Harbi
Youth problem — there is no denying the fact that this term is commonly used in all the countries of the world. This problem is multi-dimensional. Hence, it is absurd...
We must act before it's too late
Source : Arab News  
Date : 2014-09-15
Author : Abdulateef Al-Mulhim
Youths constitute a major chunk of the total population in Saudi Arabia; to some extent it is the world’s highest. This calls for an approach that caters to the needs...
Face up to ISIS, but don't ignore Iran
Source : Al Arabiya TV  
Date : 2014-09-14
Author : Eyad Abu Shakra
It would be naive to think that the priorities of the current U.S. administration are congruent with the worries of the people of the Middle East. However, realism dictates that...
Analyzing the emergence of the GCC+4 against ISIS
Source : Al Arabiya TV  
Date : 2014-09-14
Author : Theodore Karasik
Over the past few days, the positions and activities of the GCC and Egypt, Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon are becoming clearer against ISIS. The group, which met in Jeddah on...
Opposing Terrorism of Every Stripe
Source : Asharq Al-Awsat  
Date : 2014-09-14
Author : Salman Aldossary
Washington has finally been convinced of the merits of the Saudi vision to confront terrorism through a comprehensive strategy, rather than specific and temporary battles....
ISIS is bigger than the Kuwaiti army
Source : Asharq Al-Awsat  
Date : 2014-09-14
Author : Abdulrahman al-Rashed
To understand the magnitude of the problem on a global level, and not just on the Syrian and regional fronts, we must be aware of just how significant the CIA's...
The humanitarian leader
Source : Kuwait Times  
Date : 2014-09-14
Author : Abdallah Buwair
It was not surprising to see United Nations Secretary General Ban Kimoon honor HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah as a humanitarian leader, given the fact that His Highness...
Gulf states could help defeat IS
Source : Kuwait Times  
Date : 2014-09-14
Author : Linda Gradstein
As the Middle East awaits President Obama's prime-time address, Arab states are growing increasingly concerned about Islamic State (IS) and its power to further destabilize an already unstable region....
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 Sep 17, 2014| 22-ذو القعدة-1435هـ
Riyadh calls for 10-year fight to wipe out terror
Shoura demands steps to avoid Tadawul crash
Iran rejects US-led coalition against IS
Dubai Expo 2020 plans reviewed
Qatar rejects Libya PM's allegations
Saudi rail network for regional integration
IAEA needs EUR 700,000 to verify NPT safeguards in Iran
Kuwait's economic development plans analysed by int'l firm
Yemen army, loyalist tribes clash with Shia rebels
Saudi, UAE and Egypt in focus at investment talks
Regional security tops agenda of Riyadh conference
Bahrain set to host 21st WIBC 2014
30 global channels declare 'war' on IS
Qatar-Sri Lanka panel seeks to expand trade
Kurdish fighters retake many villages
US rate hikes to trim inflation in Gulf
    Newspaper Editorials
Fighting the ISIS
China's business march
More>>  
    Opinions
Bombs won't solve the Islamic State problem
Iran is taking aim at the anti-ISIS coalition
More>>  
    GCC Press Agencies
Day's main stories from the GCC Press Agencies
    Reports
Dispute Resolution and Justice Provision in Yemen's Transition
Iran's Nuclear Impasse – Breaking the Deadlock
More>>  
    Bank Reports
GCC Markets Performance – May 2014
Saudi Arabia: Baseline Macroeconomic Forecast 2014-16
More>>  
    GRC Analysis
Saudi-Vietnam Relations
Saudi-Philippines Relations
Enhancing Saudi-Japan Relations
    GRC Commentary
On Relations between Rulers and Citizens: The Need for a New Social/Political Contract in the GCC States
Key Issue Facing the Saudi Ruling House.
    GRC Book Review
Beyond Regionalism? Regional Cooperation, Regionalism and Regionalization in the Middle East
India, GCC and the Global Energy Regime: Exploring Interdependence and Outlook for Collaboration.
    GRC Press Release
Gulf Research Center press releases to the media
    GRC Publications
Regional Disorder and New Geo-economic Order: Saudi Security Strategies in a Reshaped Middle East
GCC Economic Integration: Focus on Nitty-Gritty of Convergence rather than High Profile Projects
Promoting GCC Regional Integration: An Environmental Perspective
    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  |   02-- 02 Middle Page :0  --   | Right : 02 - 02--en--sess-enreq-en-coming