While it is believed that Pakistan will face an acute shortage of water by 2025, an alarming growth rate of population that has not only moved Pakistan rank on population basis from sixth (6th) to fifth (5th) position but also has created a situation of uncertainty in the country. Whereas world’s annual population growth rate is 1.2% Pakistan has 2.03%. Similarly world’s per woman fertility rate is 3 children while such rate in Pakistan is 3.58, which means that Pakistani women on average have one more child than globally set number of kids. Likewise Pakistan is the only member state of SAARC association with lowest Contraceptive Prevalence Rate (CPR) at 30% and highest population growth rate at 2.03%.
All the above data shows the failure of our government in promoting contraceptive measures in families and general public. If government did not take measures on time, then as per United Nations report, Pakistan is believed to be world’s fourth (4th) most populated country by 2050. The government therefore should focus on its performance and point out reasons responsible for of its failures in past two decades. Only in this way the government would be able to design an effective birth control policy for the country.
National Symposium On Family Planning
Some major causes of the failure of family planning in Pakistan are;
Barriers Of Communication Between Husband And Wife: Family planning is related to conjugal relations between husband and wife and it therefore requires the consensus of both. In most of Pakistani families especially in rural areas husband and wife either do not like to discuss this matter at all or there exists some communication barriers between them. Thus family planning either got delayed or never adopted due to some social barriers.
Patriarch Social Structure: The social structure of Pakistan is patriarchic which means that family matters are mostly decided by the male members of family only. Thus decision about family planning is in husband hand and husbands either due to their personal intention or some social reasons do not like to adopt contraceptive measures.
Want Of More Male Kids: Pakistan is one among very few states where sexual preference among children still exists. In Pakistani social setup son is considered significant than daughter. Therefore in desire of having more sons, parents usually have more children than the officially fixed number of kids.
Women’s Status in Family: In family matters, especially those related to kids, mother either have less or no right at all to say or decide anything. While in reality mother shares an equal responsibility with father in case of their children therefore she must have an equal right and opportunity to take part in decisions related to the number of kids and their future.
Poor Measures Of The Government: Non serious attitude of the government over the past few decades is also one of the major causes of the failure of family planning in Pakistan. In this regard failure of the government to introduce an effective policy for the control of population’s growth rate and arising awareness among the public are some of the major failures of the government.
High Rate Of Illiteracy: Due to illiteracy, people are not only unaware of their responsibilities being parents but they also have no idea about the high risk of mother’s death in case of successive deliveries.
Is Religion A Cause Too? Though most of the people considered religion and religious values as one of the major causes of failure of family planning in Pakistan but in reality the answer to this question is “No”. Islamic rulings show that the Prophet (PBUH) has disapproved mating with wife during the first two years after successful delivery of the wife. Similarly history shows that during the era of Khulfa-e-Rashideen (Four Pious Caliphs) an endowment fund was provided to parents from Bait-ul-Mall for their every newly born child till his/her puberty. If today’s Muslim states are unable to utilize their population and get rid of all social, political and economic problems, it does not mean that all of this is happening because of religion.