Transcript of Nigeria's anti-natalist policy
Nigeria's Anti-Natalist Population Policy By Treya Picking The reasons for the Anti-Natalist policy in Nigeria Nigeria has one of the fastest growing populations in the world.
Nigeria is Africa's most populous country.
Between 1980-1985 the country's birth rate was 46.4 per 1000 people and its death rate was 19.2 per 1000.
The TFR was 6.76 and the IMR was 127 per 1000 births.
In 1980 the population was 75.5 million and increased to 85.8 million by 1985 In Nigeria there was a very low level of contraceptive use, it was estimated that only around 6% of women used a method of contraception. This was one of the reasons for the level of high fertility.
In Nigeria half of all women were married by 17 and 50% of all women became mothers by 20.
The average family size desired by a Nigerian women was around 6 children which was basically the same as number as the TFR.
The reasons cont'd The anti-natalist policy objectives The Nigerian government became concerned about the long term effects of such a rapid increasing population and in 1988 it adopted the National Policy on population for development, Unity , progress and self-reliance.
This policy was designed to slow down the rate of the population growth, improve the standard of living for the people and it worked on a voluntary basis assuming that families wanted to determine the number and spacing of their children.
The objectives of the Policy
Promoting an awareness of population problems and the effects of rapid population growth.Providing information on the benefits of small family sizes.Making family planning services easily accessible to all couples at an affordable cost. The ways in which this policy has been implemented Through aggressive campaigns organised by the Government to educate people about the benefits of small family sized not only for their own good but for the nation also.
The policy has tried to promote the use of family planning methods but it has been difficult for half of the nation is mainly muslim.
Contraception is being promoted, for example in day care centers where educated women leave their children while they are working.
Legislations have been put in place to end the discrimination against women in the employment and education.
The minimum age of marriage has been increased to 18 years .
Reducing the proportion of women who marry before the age of 18 by 80% by the year 2000
Reducing the number of children a women bears over her lifetime from the average of more than six children to an average of four.
Reducing the percentage of women having more than four children by 80% by the year 2000
Reducing the rate of population growth from 3% per year to 2% by 2000
Extending family planning coverage to 80% of women of child bearing age by 2000
Reducing infant mortality rate from the 1975 level of 111 per 1000 to 30 per 1000 live births by 2000
Providing 75% of rural communities with basic social amenities by 2000 to stimulate and sustain self-reliant development. The specific objectives Has this Policy been effective? The anti-natalist population policy put in place in 1988 has not yet been very successful.
Some gains have been made but the aspects of the policy have violated religious beliefs of many Nigerians.
It has not achieved the ambitious targets set.
Main reasons being it has not been communicated well with people in the countryside where most people live and most families still prefer having large numbers of children
Case study: China
Cyclists in Beijing, China
In the late 1970s, the Chinese government introduced a number of measures to reduce the country's birth rate and slow the population growth rate. The most important of the new measures was a one-child policy, which decreed that couples in China could only have one child.
- In 1950 the rate of population change in China was 1.9 per cent each year. If this doesn't sound high, consider that a growth rate of only 3 per cent will cause the population of a country to double in less than 24 years!
- Previous Chinese governments had encouraged people to have a lot of children to increase the country's workforce. But by the 1970s the government realised that current rates of population growth would soon become unsustainable.
The one-child policy
The one-child policy, established in 1979, meant that each couple was allowed just one child. Benefits included increased access to education for all, plus childcare and healthcare offered to families that followed this rule.
Problems with enforcing the policy:
- Those who had more than one child didn't receive these benefits and were fined.
- The policy was keenly resisted in rural areas, where it was traditional to have large families.
- In urban areas, the policy has been enforced strictly but remote rural areas have been harder to control.
- Many people claim that some women, who became pregnant after they had already had a child, were forced to have an abortion and many women were forcibly sterilised. There appears to be evidence to back up these claims.
Impact of the policy
- The birth rate in China has fallen since 1979, and the rate of population growth is now 0.7 per cent.
- There have been negative impacts too - due to a traditional preference for boys, large numbers of female babies have ended up homeless or in orphanages, and in some cases killed. In 2000, it was reported that 90 per cent of foetuses aborted in China were female.
- As a result, the gender balance of the Chinese population has become distorted. Today it is thought that men outnumber women by more than 60 million.
China's one-child policy has been somewhat relaxed in recent years. Couples can now apply to have a second child if their first child is a girl, or if both parents are themselves only-children.
While China's population is now rising more slowly, it still has a very large total population (1.3 billion in 2008) and China faces new problems, including:
- the falling birth rate - leading to a rise in the relative number of elderly people
- fewer people of working age to support the growing number of elderly dependants - in the future China could have an ageing population
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