Woms paper - Jillian Finkelstein Women's Studies 202...

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Jillian Finkelstein Women’s Studies 202 Effects of Family Planning on Women’s Status in Bangladesh Around the world, efforts are made to combat overpopulation. The most famous anti-natalist country is China with its established “One Child Policy” and forced abortions in extremist areas, but other Asian countries also have governmental influence on population control. “With almost 2,500 persons per square mile in 1997, [Bangladesh] is the most densely settled country of any significant size in the world: 60 percent denser than Taiwan, twice the density of South Korea or the Netherlands, thrice that of India or Belgium, four times that of Britain, seven times that of China, and 32 times that of the United States. (Caldwell)” Because of this density problem, fertility programs have been set up to provide married women with the education and availability of birth control in order to combat the overpopulation. Though these fertility programs were designed to bring down fertility rates, they have actually improved the status of women in Bangladesh. Background Between 1978 and 1997, Bangladesh’s government employed women, referred to as “welfare assistants” to provide family counseling for married couples in rural areas. The women would walk door to door in order to educate people at their own homes about contraceptives and family planning methods. (Phillips 138) “The availability of contraceptives has not only contributed to a decline in fertility: it has also given parents an opportunity to decide whether or not to have additional children. (Nosaka)”
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Overpopulation usually results from the lack of contraceptives and education about birth control. Without the availability of them, parents are not able to space out the births of their children and they end up having larger families than they planned to have. The female welfare assistants (FWA) give married couples the opportunity to decide when they want to have children and how many children they want to have through several methods of fertility. Initially the government highly encouraged female sterilization, but because of this program, sterilization use has declined due to the availability of birth control pills, condoms, sponges, IUDs, and other modern contraceptives. Bangladesh’s total fertility rate has also declined to 4.5 in the 1990s from 7 in the 1970s. (Nosaka)
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This note was uploaded on 04/09/2008 for the course WOMS 202 taught by Professor Nigg during the Spring '08 term at University of Delaware.

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Woms paper - Jillian Finkelstein Women's Studies 202...

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