Is development the best contraceptive – Part III: Women at the Centre View

The Women at the Centre view is quite similar to the Social View. However, emphasis is put on the position of women. The Women at the Centre view suggests that there is a close correlation between the status of women and the fertility rate of the community. It is suggested, for example, that the more educated women are the more they are likely to mother healthy children, this reduces the infant mortality rate, and subsequently the fertility rate.

This view also goes further to suggest that the more educated women are, the more they will be able to access and interpret information on contraception. One way in which the population problem can be addressed, thus, is by elevating the social position of women, their welfare, and their autonomy within a community, the Social View suggests.

Elevating the status of women facilitates them to have greater say in reproductive choices. It is implicit in this view that the development of women is the solution to the reduction of population growth.

This analysis is part of a wider analysis that I did debating the question: “Is development the best contraceptive?” The slogan ‘Development is the best contraceptive’ implies that there is a population problem that needs to be solved and the best way to solve it is development. My analysis is based on an analysis by Tom Hewitt and Ines Smyth that is contained in their article titled: “Is the world overpopulated (Hewitt & Smyth, 1992)?”

In my analysis published in different blog posts, I discuss four views on population – the New (Neo) Malthusian View, the Social View, the Women at the Centre View and the New Consensus View; and I conclude by demonstrating how each of the four views takes culture seriously or not.

Blog post featured photo: Expectant mothers waiting to give birth at the CPAR Uganda health centre at its Loro Facility in Oyam District.

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I wrote this analysis and commentary for a tutor marked assignments for the Open University Course Module TUXX871 – Development Context and Practice, a course I passed with merit; as part of my studies for the award of a Master of Science Degree in Development Management of the Open University, United Kingdom. I was triggered by the up-date, below, published in the New Vision to edit and republish my post of 2015 in a more user-friendly manner, hence splitting it up to parts.

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