Saturday September 30, 2023

Sherry calls for check on population growth

September 20, 2023

ISLAMABAD: Senator Sherry Rehman, Vice-President of Pakistan People’s Party Parliamentarians, Tuesday called for a collective effort to address the issue of uncontrolled population growth, stressing that it acts as a multiplier of various threats. She called on political parties and all stakeholders to unite in championing effective population management.

In a keynote speech delivered at the ninth meeting of the Parliamentary Forum on Population Council, Senator Sherry Rehman stressed the importance of reframing discussions surrounding family planning and population management. She highlighted that this issue should not be regarded as controversial but rather as an essential component of development.

The meeting of the Parliamentary Forum on Population Council convened policymakers, experts, and organisations to tackle critical matters related to population management and development in Pakistan.

During her address, Senator Rehman delved into key aspects of population management, addressing stigmas related to population control, saying women’s empowerment, climate resilience, and the role of public-private partnerships. She said: “Empowering women to make decisions about their families is of paramount importance.”

She also acknowledged the significant role of the Lady Health Workers Programme, initiated and designed by Shaheed Benazir Bhutto, in delivering essential health services.

The PPP leader emphasised the programme’s potential to address the challenges posed by population growth and to raise public awareness.

Highlighting the adverse impact of Pakistan’s high population growth rate on progress, she stressed that slowing down population growth is vital for sustainable development.

She underscored the importance of accurate population data as the foundation for informed decision-making and stressed its role as a shared knowledge base for population management and planning efforts.

Senator Rehman also drew attention to the vulnerability of Pakistan’s population to climate change, saying that uncontrolled population growth exacerbates climate-related challenges. She reiterated the notion that growing populations act as threat multipliers in this context. Furthermore, she stressed the critical role of investing in human capital, particularly through education and skills development for the youth, in driving the country’s growth. She concluded by highlighting the potential of public-private partnerships as game-changers in addressing population challenges and leveraging digital technology for outreach and service delivery.