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.
 
The dangers of legitimizing 'Al-Hashd Al-Shaabi'
Source : Arab News  
Date : 2016-11-28
Author : Baria Alamuddin
In a measure, which moderate Sunni politicians are already describing as "the last nail in the coffin of reconciliation," the Iraqi Parliament on Nov. 26 approved a law integrating the...
Armies should be tools of defense, not oppression
Source : Arab News  
Date : 2016-11-27
Author : Khalaf Ahmed Al Habtoor
Armies fall into two loose categories. There are those whose prime objective is to defend their soil and people from foreign aggression, and those that prioritize defense of the leadership...
Private sector must employ more Saudis
Source : Saudi Gazette  
Date : 2016-11-27
Author : Yousuf Al-Muhaimeed
When the minister of labor and social development attributed the increase of Saudi unemployment rate to 12.1 percent in the third quarter of 2016 to the rise in the number...
Total 200 Results in 14 Pages
  2 
For more news, views and reports about this topic, please subscribe
to GRC website: www.grc.net
Sun Dec 4, 2016| 04-ربيع أول-1438هـ
Kuwait's opposition 'needs unity' after poll comeback
Mohammed bin Zayed, Sisi discuss ways of deepening ties
Oil price gains from Opec production cut deal seen supporting Gulf markets
Syria operation against terror groups only: Erdogan
Presidential aide hails Iran-Russia agreement on oil market
UN envoy meets Yemen President Hadi in new move to end conflict
Saudi stock market hits highest close for 2016
Iranians face terror charges for filming Israeli Embassy
Trip down prosperity lane: A look back at the UAE's road to success
Austria to bolster ties with Qatar
Joint efforts by Saudi Arabia and UAE helped stabilize region
Zangeneh hails OPEC's crucial decision
Arab League chief urges end to Israeli occupation
Kingdom, OIC express support for Palestinians
  Op-Ed
Collaboration is key to Paris climate deal
Oil producing countries will fare better with a deal
At 45, the UAE deserves a global round of applause
A day for celebration, appreciation and reflection
More>>  
    Reports
NBK Report on oil markets
GCC Banking Sector Quarterly - 2Q16
More>>  
    GCC Press Agencies
Day's main stories from the GCC Press Agencies
    GRC Analysis
The Benefits of NATO-GCC Strategic Ties
The GCC and the EU's New Global Strategy
For the GCC States, a different Europe to deal with
    GRC Commentary
Climate COP 22 in Marrakech Important for the Region
Earth Day 2016: The Promised Day
An Evolving Saudi-US Relationship
    GRC Press Release
Gulf Research Center press releases to the media
    GRC Publications
Sustainable Development Goals: Challenges and Opportunities for the GCC Countries
Salalah: The Economic Development and Spatial Fragmentation of a Globalized Port City in Southern Oman
Domestic Ramifications of the JCPOA for Iran
    GRC Newsletters/Bulletins

Enter your email to get the Newsletter
Go
A Note on Syrian Refugees in the Gulf: Attempting to Assess Data and Policies
      
Privacy Policy | Contact Us | Terms & Conditions | About Us |
Weather | Qibla Directions | Hijri Date Conversion Tool
Full Page :total time:0  |   55-- 55 Middle Page :0  --   | Right : 55 - 55--en--sess-enreq-en-coming