Page 1

The Reporter October 2010 VOL. 42, ISSUE 3

Maternal Mortality: No Longer a “Fringe Concern”



from the president

olitics used to take a summer

Islamic, with a powerful theocracy, it



underwent one startling transformation

Many Muslim nations including

goes on holiday anymore. From

in the mid-1980s—a few years after the

Pakistan face great pressure from reli-

Shah was toppled.

gious fundamentalists who see women



the swift boating of John Kerry in 2004

jumping to the wrong confusions.

to last year’s Tea Party tantrums, hot

Iran’s leadership concluded that large

as procreators and little else. The U.S. is

temperatures are host to boiling rheto-

families threatened social and economic

doing more these days to help bring

ric, often from half-baked notions.

well-being. So Iran built its first condom

family planning to those in need.

This year, it was mosque mania.

factory, dramatically increased universi-

But there are forces in places like

Fierce protests were mounted against

ty education for women and deployed

Pakistan—and here in the U.S.—who

an Islamic center proposed two (long)

TV and radio spots promoting family

oppose the basic right of women and

blocks from where the 9/11 attack took

planning. Marriage license applicants

couples to make their own childbearing

were required to take a family planning


place in New York. Religion provokes strong emotions,


Some of our opponents wear long

sometimes at the expense of facts. I’m

Most importantly, Iranian clerics pro-

black beards and speak foreign tongues.

often asked about large families and the

nounced tranquility to be an Islamic

Others show up on TV wearing the lat-

status of women in the Islamic world.

virtue and held that small families are

est styles. But they’re all crusaders of

Scanning the 47 or so predominantly

more tranquil, a conclusion which is

one sort or another. They’re often

Muslim nations, there are examples to

hard to argue with.

unwilling to trust women to make their

prove—or confound—almost any set of

The result? In just 16 years, family

own choices. Many seem quick to pin

size in Iran plummeted from about 6.5

blame on people who look “different”

Some Muslim nations, such as

children to just 2 children—all without

or who fail to worship the right way—or

Somalia, are desperately poor and

coercion. As reported on page 4 of this

who refuse to worship at all.

fraught with civil conflict. Women have

issue, Iranian President Ahmadinejad is

This summer their target was an

few rights. Large families are the norm,

currently seeking to increase family size.

Islamic center proposed for lower

as are high rates of infant and maternal

No one story captures the reality of


mortality. Then there is oil-rich Saudi

the Muslim world—or the world where

Arabia where women lack basic rights.

Christianity predominates. American

Large families are part of their branch of

Catholics have smaller families than


Protestants, notwithstanding Vatican

But the stereotypes don’t hold for

opposition to modern contraception. As

long. Take Iran, for example. Resolutely

the malapropism goes, we should avoid

Manhattan. Next year, who knows?

John Seager john@popconnect.org

Member Spotlight: Lou Harrison Lou Harrison, American composer, dancer, and puppeteer, produced decades of work renowned for its international influences. He especially enjoyed writing music for the gamelan orchestra—a traditional Indonesian musical ensemble—and produced nearly fifty pieces in that style. Mr. Harrison became a member of (then) ZPG in 1989. Through a bequest upon his death in 2003, he contributed a portion of his musical estate toward our efforts to stabilize population. We are proud to honor his memory. If you are interested in leaving a lasting legacy by including Population Connection in your estate plans, please contact Shauna Scherer at sscherer@popconnect.org or 1-800-POP-1956.

Volume 42, Issue 3 October 2010 Cover: A mother and her infant waiting to see their health provider for a well child visit in Tanzania. Photo: Virginia Lamprecht, Photoshare

Pg. 8 Girl Power Lacking in India

Pg. 10

Pg. 16

Interview with Nicholas Kristof

India: Three Wives, Ten Kids Is

By Alexis Katzelnick-Wise

By Ashley Judd

Enough By Hanna Ingber Win





18 Washington View


In the News

20 Field & Outreach


Editor’s Note

22 Pop. Ed.



24 Remark

Printed on recycled paper

PopPourri If the gap between demand and supply for family planning was met, the number of maternal deaths would be cut by approximately one-third and child deaths could be reduced by as much as 20 percent. —Guttmacher Institute/UNFPA

Maternal mortality is defined as the death of a woman while pregnant or within 42 days after termination of pregnancy from any cause related to or aggravated by the pregnancy or its management. This includes death as a complication of abortion at any stage of pregnancy.

Every year, more than one million children are left motherless because of maternal mortality. Children who have lost their mothers are up to 10 times more likely to die prematurely than those who have not. —Guttmacher Institute/UNFPA

In sub-Saharan Africa, contraceptive prevalence, despite nearly doubling between 1990 and 2005, was still only 22 percent in 2005. —United Nations


The Reporter — October 2010

Every minute a woman dies from pregnancy or childbirth. —White Ribbon Alliance

Young women aged 15-20 are twice as likely to die in childbirth as those in their twenties. Girls under the age of 15 are five times more likely to die from maternal causes. —Guttmacher Institute/UNFPA

Millennium Development Goal 5: Improve Maternal Health Target 1: Reduce by three quarters, between 1990 and 2015, the maternal mortality ratio Target 2: Achieve, by 2015, universal access to reproductive health

The risk of a woman dying in sub-Saharan Africa as a result of pregnancy or childbirth is 1 in 22, as compared to 1 in 7,300 in developed regions. —Guttmacher Institute/UNFPA

The adolescent birth rate is highest in sub-Saharan Africa and has declined only marginally since 1990. —United Nations


October 2010 — The Reporter


In the News Iran to Pay for Babies

increase the nation’s very low fertility rate

In July, Iranian President Mahmoud

(1.15). Most of the policies make it easier for

Ahmadinejad announced a new policy to

working women and couples to manage rais-

encourage population growth through mon-

ing children (increasing maternity leave ben-

etary incentive. Babies born this year will

efits, encouraging flexible work options,

Contributors Rebecca Harrington, Ashley Judd, Alexis Katzelnick-Wise, Nicholas Kristof, Stacie Murphy, John Seager, Marian Starkey, Pamela Wasserman, Hanna Ingber Win

receive $950 in a government bank account.

adding day care centers to job sites, reducing

The government will contribute an addition-

the hours in the official work week, etc.).

Graphic Artist Marian Starkey

Volume 42, Issue 3 October 2010 Executive Editor Marian Starkey

Population Connection Overpopulation threatens the quality of life for people everywhere. Population Connection is the national grassroots population organization that educates young people and advocates progressive action to stabilize world population at a level that can be sustained by Earth’s resources.

al $95 each year until the child turns 18.

The national government also offers a dis-

Parents are expected to match government

count of 20 percent on the electricity bills of

contributions. The money may be used when

families with three or more children. New

the recipients turn 20.

vehicles and their registration are heavily dis-

Iran has had one of the most successful

counted for large families.

family planning programs in the world for the

During the period 2011-2015, the country

past two decades. The current fertility rate is

plans to spend a whopping $65.6 billion on

2.0. Ahmadinejad believes that fertility

fertility-boosting policies.

decline is a Western phenomenon that should be rejected.

Spain Ends Cash-for-Kids

Doctors Accused of Coerced Sterilization in Uzbekistan Hundreds of women have reportedly been

The Reporter (ISSN 0199-0071) Population Connection 2120 L Street, NW, Suite 500 Washington, DC 20037

parents about $3,000 for the birth of each


child since 2007. That program will be

Phone: 202-332-2200 or

February, President Islam Karimov escalated

scrapped in 2011 to help mend the public


the sterilization campaign he started in the

deficit. The money has not been enough

Fax: 202-332-2302

late 1990s, due to high population growth

incentive to raise birth rates. In fact, the birth

and a stagnating economy.

Email: info@popconnect.org Website: www.popconnect.org

The Spanish government has been paying

rate declined in 2009 by five percent, to 10.73 babies per thousand inhabitants.

Board Chair Dianne Dillon-Ridgley President John Seager

sterilized against their will in an effort to curb growth




Doctors have not been ordered to perform sterilizations as such, but have felt pressure to do so from the government. Women who

Futile (and Bizarre) Attempts to Boost Birth Rate in S. Korea The Gwangmyeong city government has

have cesarean births, women who are HIV positive or have tuberculosis, and women who have already had multiple births are the main targets of the campaign.

started giving free trash bags to parents of

The fertility rate in Uzbekistan is 2.3 and

more than two children. Officials expect that

the population density in some regions is

eliminating the price parents pay for dump-

among the highest in the world.

ing trash (about 22 cents per bag) will encourage them to have more children. Data is not yet available to determine effectiveness of this oddly conceived program. South Korea is testing various policies to 4

The Reporter — October 2010

Washington State’s Plan B Women in Washington State could soon find it more difficult to obtain emergency

contraception. Since 2007, pharmacists have

ception after having unprotected sex. All but

Photo credits, pages 2-3

been legally obligated to dispense Plan B to

70 of the women returned for a follow-up

Top row, left to right:

women with a valid prescription. The Board

visit. Of the women who did return, none

of Pharmacy, the same body that created the

had gotten pregnant after the IUD insertion.

1. A woman and child in rural Vietnam. Edson E. Whitney, Courtesy of Photoshare

2007 requirement, is now writing a new rule,

Four of the women got pregnant later in the

2. Luba V Nel, Dreamstime.com

which would allow pharmacists to refuse to

year from a different sexual encounter.

3. A trained birth attendant and active health promoter in Senegal holds her daughter at the local health hut. Richard Nyberg, Courtesy of Photoshare

dispense Plan B as long as they refer customers to another pharmacy that stocks it.




from Biological Motherhood

Argentina Gets a Failing Grade in Family Planning Human Rights Watch released a report in August that detailed the shortfalls of repro-

Pew Research Center released data in June

ductive health care in Argentina. Argentina is

showing that 18 percent of American women

considered a progressive country by Latin

do not have biological children at the end of

American standards, having just legalized

their childbearing years (ages 40-44). This is

gay marriage. The HRW report cracks that

up from 10 percent of women in the 1970s.

veneer. The report claims that 40 percent of

White women and women with more edu-

pregnancies in Argentina end in abortion

cation are the two groups most likely to have

because laws guaranteeing free and universal

no biological children (24 percent of women

contraception are ignored.

ages 40-44 with a bachelor’s degree and 25

Contraception was legalized in 1985 and a

percent of women ages 40-44 with a mas-

2002 law ensures access to birth control. But

ter’s degree did not have children in 2008).

the difference between law and reality is

In 2002, 59 percent of those surveyed did

apparently vast. Among the barriers stated

not believe that people without children

by HRW are long delays, unnecessary refer-

“lead empty lives.” In 1988, only 39 percent

rals, demands to confirm husband’s approval,

of surveyed respondents did not believe that

and flat-out refusal to provide services. In

people without children “lead empty lives.”

2008, women went without birth control pills

In fact, childless women are just as happy as

for a month when the shipment was delayed

mothers, according to the study’s coauthor,

in a Buenos Aires port. Many women com-

Amy Pienta of the University of Michigan.

plain of receiving expired pills or different methods of contraception at each visit.

IUD in an Emergency A study of 2,000 Chinese women found that the copper intra-uterine device is 100 percent effective at preventing pregnancy within five days after unprotected sex. The National Research Institute for Family Planning in Beijing conducted the study with women who requested emergency contra-


Abortion is illegal except in the case of rape or to protect the woman’s health. Many doctors demand a court order before providing the procedure, which is not mandated by law. On the plus side, sex education in public

4. Chiyacat, Dreamstime.com 5. A community health worker with her baby in Afghanistan. Emily J. Phillips/MSH, Courtesy of Photoshare 6. A Malagasi woman with her baby. Jennifer C. Murphy, Courtesy of Photoshare 7. In Laos, a woman and her thirteenth child. Caryl Feldacker, Courtesy of Photoshare 8. A community-based family planning distribution agent with her baby outside the health facility in Shallo, Ethiopia. Virginia Lamprecht, Courtesy of Photoshare Bottom row, left to right: 9. An American woman and her infant son. Katie Copeland 10. A mother and trader in Peru carries her child during a day at work. Anja Lendvay, Courtesy of Photoshare 11. A mother and her infant at a vasectomy clinic in Rwanda. Virginia Lamprecht, Courtesy of Photoshare 12. Reynardt Badenhorst, Dreamstime.com 13. Cwd, Dreamstime.com 14. Rawker, Dreamstime.com 15. Karen Struthers, Dreamstime.com 16. A mother in Timor-Leste holds her young child. Arturo Sanabria, Courtesy of Photoshare

schools has been mandatory since 2005 and some barriers to voluntary female sterilization have been removed.

Back cover photo: Senior couple using laptop. Neringafoto, Dreamstime.com October 2010 — The Reporter


editor’s note

very year approximately 500,000 women die from


pregnancy-related causes. Many of those women die

“legacy issue” for this year’s

after giving birth to babies that survive, and many vic-

G8 Summit. His administra-

tims of maternal mortality leave behind children from previous

tion got into some trouble

pregnancies. Maternal orphans are up to ten times more like-

leading up to the Summit when foreign affairs minister

ly to die within two years than children with living mothers.

Lawrence Cannon stated that “[The maternal health initia-





Women Deliver—an organization that fights maternal mor-

tive] does not deal in any way, shape or form with family

tality—proposes three strategies to reduce maternal deaths:

planning. Indeed, the purpose of this is to be able to save

access to family planning, quality medical care for pregnancy

lives.” Facing extreme backlash, the administration revised its

and childbirth, and access to safe abortion where it is legal

strategy to include family planning, but still shunned any dis-

(14 percent of maternal deaths are due to unsafe abortion).

cussion of safe abortion as a life-saving measure.

If the global community contributed another $12 billion to

The Muskoka Initiative—the product of the two-day gath-

fulfill unmet need for family planning, we could reduce unin-

ering—pledges $5 billion of additional funding to combat

tended pregnancies by 66 percent and maternal deaths by 70

maternal and child mortality over the next five years. Another

percent. In other words, family planning could nearly achieve

$2.3 billion was pledged by the governments of Netherlands,

the first target of Millennium Development Goal 5 (to reduce

New Zealand, Norway, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, and

maternal deaths by 75 percent) single-handedly.

the Bill and Melinda Gates and United Nations Foundations.

For a couple of weeks in June, maternal mortality was the

The $7.3 billion investment is expected to prevent 64,000

subject of articles in newspapers around the world. Celebrities

maternal deaths and enable an additional 12 million couples

wrote opinion pieces and visited U.S. congressional offices.

to access modern methods of family planning.

Lawmakers woke up to the fact that half a million women die

Nicholas Kristof is optimistic that women’s issues are

and another 15-20 million are injured—some severely—each

becoming a “serious topic in the spotlight.” It is certainly a

year due to inadequate reproductive health care. World lead-

serious problem when women in Niger face a one in seven

ers became newly committed to achieving Millennium

chance of succumbing to maternal death at some point in

Development Goal 5, promising new and more targeted

their lives. In Afghanistan and Sierra Leone the odds aren’t

funding to make it happen.

much better, at one in eight.

Two events were responsible for this sudden flurry of media

An important part of curbing population growth is ensuring

attention and heightened dedication by global policymakers.

the survival of children. When couples have confidence that

The second Women Deliver conference (the first was in

their kids will live to adulthood, they are comfortable having

2007 and inspired the creation of the organization by the

fewer. One of the best ways to boost child survival rates is to

same name) was held in early June, in Washington, DC.

improve maternal health and survival outcomes. Nicholas

Approximately 3,400 participants from 146 countries con-

Kristof calls this a virtuous circle. Save mothers, which saves

vened for plenaries, break-out sessions, and a reception on

children, which reduces fertility, which saves mothers, which

Capitol Hill. Ashley Judd, actress and humanitarian, was one

saves children, which reduces fertility...

of the session leaders at Women Deliver. We have reprinted an interview on page 10 that she conducted with Nicholas Kristof, on behalf of PSI, a global health organization on whose board she sits. A couple weeks after Women Deliver, the Group of Eight


(G8) highly industrialized countries convened in Muskoka,

Marian Starkey

Ontario. Stephen Harper, Canadian Prime Minister, chose


The Reporter — October 2010

From our Readers—Comments on the June Issue

Engaging Editorial I have just read the most recent Reporter and think you have done a wonderful job. Your Editor’s note is lively and engaging and intelligent, likewise your review of The Coming Population Crash. Priscilla Labovitz Washington, DC

not less, but it needs to be the right kind, e.g. aimed at reducing use of fossil fuels. Population Connection needs to remember why it was founded. Our goal is not to live at a subsistence level so that the rest of the world can support a maximum population. Rather, it is to limit the human population to a level at which the earth can support all of us in maximum comfort. Jack Lochhead

Veggie Power I enjoyed your note and book review in the latest Reporter. In the review you mentioned somewhat speculatively the alternative of becoming vegetarians. You’re right of course that consumption reforms only buy us time to achieve a stable population. In fact the calculations have been done for several scenarios, including the vegetarian one you mention. The break-even point would occur long before the population reached 15 or 20 billion. We found that population growth would eat up the entire gain from going vegetarian in 24

Conway, MA

Board Alumnus Great issue in June—right on target. I enjoyed your comments very much and I especially enjoyed reading about Dianne at Copenhagen. We served together on the board of Population Connection for many wonderful years. Thanks again for a wonderful job. Eugene Kutscher Jamaica, NY

years. The calculations are in http://zpgmb.org/howmuch.html. The figures are for the year 2000, but since they

Submit a Letter

concern growth rates the numbers haven’t changed much in

Please send correspondence to mstarkey@popconnect.org.

the meantime.

You may also submit letters via fax (202) 332-2302 or

Bruce Bridgeman

postal mail:

Professor of Psychology and Psychobiology

Attn: Marian Starkey

University of California

Population Connection

Santa Cruz, CA

2120 L St. NW, Suite 500 Washington, DC 20037

Wants vs. Needs Nice editorial in the June edition of The Reporter. The “wants vs. needs” things is actually pretty huge!

Please include your home address, phone number, and email address. We will contact the authors of letters that we intend to print prior to publication.

Michael Mackaplow Chicago, IL

“We Need More Consumption” In your editor’s note you stress lowering consumption; that is a lose-lose proposition! First you lose your audience; even the one-child Chinese won’t listen. Second, you lose the whole point of population planning. If we wanted to live like cave men we could probably go on a long time waiting for nature to finally limit growth. We need more consumption, www.popconnect.org

Corrections, June 2010, p. 21 Maurice Middleberg is now Vice President for Global Policy at IntraHealth International (no longer at Global Health Council). Four (not five) of the representatives we lobbied have signed on as co-sponsors to the House version of the GDPA since Capitol Hill Days in April (Earl Blumenauer, Mary Jo Kilroy, Jim McDermott, and Peter Welch). Jim Moran was lobbied by our group and is a cosponsor, but he signed on in March. The three senators we lobbied at Capitol Hill Days who are co-sponsors of the Senate version of the GDPA—Sherrod Brown, Dianne Feinstein, Bernie Sanders—signed on prior to our visits. October 2010 — The Reporter


girl power lacking in India Alexis Katzelnick-Wise was born and raised in Southern California, where she developed an affinity for the many different cultures of people who reside there. After attending the University of California, Santa Barbara, she moved to Washington, DC to pursue a career in international development. Alexis earned a master’s degree in Political Science and International Relations from George Mason University in 2009. Her passion for languages and robust cultural experiences frequently takes her to destinations around the world. She has led service trips in India; worked for an HIV/AIDS sport development NGO in South Africa; backpacked through South America; and taken an outdoor adventure tour around Israel. Alexis is our Mary Wohlford Grassroots Fellow.


ccording to World Bank estimates, 42 percent of India’s 1.2 billion people live on less than $1.25 a day—the international poverty line. I saw India’s gripping poverty firsthand in July, when I traveled to Rajasthan as a Rustic Pathways

volunteer. Rajasthan is the largest of the eight Indian states wherein the inhabitants are poorer than those of the 26 poorest

African nations. Surmon House is a small, privately run orphanage in Jaipur, where I worked as a volunteer for a month this past summer, during a hiatus from my fellowship at Population Connection. With more than twice the number of girls as boys living at the orphanage, the gender disparity smacked me in the face each morning when I arrived at my post. Girls are simply viewed as too expensive to raise, even (and sometimes, especially) by middle and upper class families. Dowries and weddings are so costly that girls are seen as living liabilities. By contrast, boys grow up to provide for their parents, inherit land, and carry on the family name. It is customary for brides to join their husbands’ families, so parents of girls do not typically receive financial help or caretaking benefits from their daughters in old age. With the growth of ultrasound technology in India, the door to sex selective parenting has been flung open. Abortion is legal in India, but the vast majority of the estimated 6.7 million abortions each year are not performed in a clinical setting (and are therefore undocumented). And although sex selective abortion is prohibited in India, 500,000 female fetuses are aborted each year because couples do not want another daughter. Despite signs covering the walls of clinics, clearly stating that “Sex determination of embryo is not done here,” many doctors provide sex determination and sex selective abortion upon request. The penalty for doing so is minimal and is very rarely enforced. A 25-year-old local Indian man told me that female infanticide is even more common in Rajasthan than sex selective abortion. This is probably a function of the relatively high cost of obtaining an ultrasound and the persistent poverty in Rajasthan. 8

The Reporter — October 2010

The child sex ratio in India was 927 girls to 1,000 boys at the last census in 2001. In Rajasthan, one of the most imbalanced states, the ratio was 906 to 1,000. Wealthy states in India (where more couples can afford ultrasound and abortion) have even lower ratios. Among high castes in Punjab, the ratio of girls to boys was 300 to 1,000 in 2008.

Baby girls are regularly abandoned and left to die. Surmon House often receives calls from the police after a baby that was intended to die is found clinging to life. Recently, a baby girl was found wrapped in newspaper on the side of a highway; another was discovered in the toilet of a train bathroom. Women typically do not undergo sex selective abortion, practice female infanticide, or abandon their newborn girls as a result of unwanted pregnancy. They do these things because they cannot justify burdening their families with a girl who will use common resources during her childhood and then not give back when she becomes an adult. Unwanted fertility is a major problem in India, but that issue is separate from the practice of sex selection. According to the Population Council, “[A]s one of the less-developed states in India, Rajasthan has high rates of unwanted fertility and unmet need for family planning, coupled with low contraceptive prevalence rates and pervasive son preference.” This dangerous combination of factors contributes to the large number of girls in orphanages like Surmon House. India must expand family planning education and services to its poor, rural population. Yet in a country where the word “sex” is bleeped out of episodes of “Friends,” the solution is not that straightforward. Throwing more money at family planning programs will make little difference in the gender imbalance without a change in the mainstream cultural attitude. USAID/India is incorporating gender monitoring and evaluation into its programs in order to eliminate gender inequality in the areas of food security, health, and vulnerability to climate change. USAID is also working specifically in Rajasthan on research, advocacy, and outreach initiatives to change attitudes toward the girl child. In a country as large and diverse as India, solutions to social problems are rarely simple. And in a state as poor and traditional as Rajasthan, policy prescriptions become even more complicated. Empowering girls and women will reduce poverty, improve health outcomes, and help balance the sex ratio. It’s as good a place as any to start. www.popconnect.org

October 2010 — The Reporter


Ashley Judd visits with a family during a PSI trip to India. Photo courtesy of PSI.

Ashley Judd interviews Nicholas Kristof. Ms. Judd is an actress and PSI board member. Mr. Kristof is a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner, co-author of Half the Sky, and New York Times columnist.

s. Judd: You’ve drawn


global attention to the

unique needs and chal-

lenges of women in the developing world. Is the battle to bring attention to this issue being won or lost? And how do you feel about your contribution, both through your columns and the extraordinary book, Half the Sky, you and your wife Sheryl have written? Mr. Kristof: Oh, the battle is definitely being won. There’s no question that “international women’s issues” are


The Reporter — October 2010

going from a fringe concern and a

Ms. Judd: Maternal mortality has

that perspective is trickling down to

“soft” issue to a serious topic in the

been thought to be an unmovable

the villages.



problem yet a recent study by The

women’s rights are increasingly recog-

Lancet shows that several countries

Ms. Judd: Much of the funding for

nized not only as a justice issue but also

have made progress in its reduction.

development targets specific health or

as a way to fight poverty and reduce

What, in your view, are the contribut-

social areas without addressing overlap-

civil conflict. When you have American

ing factors?

ping issues or systemic failures, but



there’s a trend now to address issues

generals in Afghanistan trying to get more girls in school, because they rec-

Mr. Kristof: The study by The Lancet

more holistically. Have you seen inte-

ognize that that’s an effective strategy

underscored just how much we don’t

grated development projects that work?

to undercut the Taliban, you know

know. It’s quite remarkable that we

things have changed. And the Council

don’t have a grasp on how many

Mr. Kristof: The old stove-piping

on Foreign Relations used to be the

women die from pregnancy complica-

clearly didn’t work very well. It was

place to discuss missile shields and

tions each year. Is it 350,000 or

maddening that all the HIV funding

Middle East politics, while now it is also

550,000? The data just aren’t good

meant that a woman could be treated

discussing maternal mortality and

enough to be sure, partly because no

for HIV but wasn’t helped when she

human trafficking.

one counts dead mothers in many poor

suffered from pregnancy complications.

At The New York Times, I was delight-

countries. I must say that I often see

On the other hand, the drawback of the

ed to see an article about maternal

statistics in United Nations studies and

integrated approach is that it’s expen-

deaths as the lead story on the front

elsewhere that claim a degree of preci-

sive and it’s hard to know what is cost-

page in May. We in the news media tra-

sion that I find absurd.

effective when you try a bunch of inter-

ditionally haven’t been great at covering

For example, there’s an often-cited

ventions simultaneously. I’m a huge

these issues, and the lead story tradi-

statistic that one-quarter of young

believer in rigorous testing in random-

tionally was reserved for some ponder-

women aged 15 19 in the developing

ized experiments, with careful measure-

ous pronouncement by a president or

world are married (outside China). But

ment before and after. Monitoring and

prime minister. So to see dead mothers

in truth, in many poor countries, kids

evaluation has traditionally been a weak

being treated with equal seriousness was

have very little idea how old they are

area for nongovernmental organizations

a welcome surprise and reflects the way

and don’t have birth certificates. So

(NGOs), and humanitarians should be

these issues are rising on the agenda.

any age-related statistic is a wild guess.

every bit as careful as for-profit busi-

The tide was already coming in, but I

In terms of reducing maternal mor-

nesses in ensuring that they get the

hope that Half the Sky helped it gain a

tality, my sense is that the big effort to

most bang possible for the buck.

bit of momentum. One of the greatest

train traditional birth attendants was

challenges is how to reach beyond the

pretty much a failure. It probably

Ms. Judd: What are the benefits of

choir, and I think the book clubs that

reduced neonatal mortality, but didn’t

working through the private sector in

have chosen Half the Sky and the uni-

obviously save mothers’ lives. But rural


versities that chose it for a college-wide

health systems have been improved,

women’s health and overall well-being?

read have helped expose the ideas in it

infrastructure has improved, vehicles

to people who were outside that choir.

and cell phones have become more

Mr. Kristof: Look, the private sector is

One of the most exciting things for

common, and all these make it easier

incredibly good at distribution. If we

Sheryl and me has also been the num-

to rush a woman to a hospital when

could get condoms and bednets into

ber of readers who have started giving

she’s in obstructed labor. More broad-

every village that serves beer, we’d save

to clubs or aid organizations to try to

ly, I think some countries are now tak-

vast numbers of lives. The NGO world

make a difference.

ing maternal health more seriously, and

used to have a bit of disdain for busi-





October 2010 — The Reporter


ness, but it’s shedding that and I think it is an important step forward. The private sector and NGO sectors can accomplish a huge amount if they work together. Ms. Judd: What role do NGOs like PSI play in helping to empower women?

[Y]ou can’t begin to chip away at poverty unless you deal with rapid population growth. And you can’t empower women when they are obliged to churn out babies non-stop because they don’t have access to birth control.

women as well. Television tends to expose conservative rural families to middle class urban norms, where wives can come and go and aren’t beaten. Income generation, micro-savings and microlending give women more economic weight and more voice in the household.

Mr. Kristof: I’m a huge fan of PSI,

Ms. Judd: One of the inspirational sto-

partly because you can’t begin to chip

ries you tell in your book is of Edna Adan

away at poverty unless you deal with

But medications such as misoprostol are

of Somaliland who succeeded in raising

rapid population growth. And you can’t

now available to induce a miscarriage

enough funds to build a maternity hospi-

empower women when they are

early in pregnancy, and there’s nothing

tal in her fragile country. PSI/Somaliland

obliged to churn out babies non-stop

to differentiate it from a regular miscar-

is collaborating with the Somaliland

because they don’t have access to birth

riage. The medications have other stan-

Ministry of Health to prevent and treat


dard uses, for ulcers and for postpartum

postpartum hemorrhage by increasing

I also think PSI is very good at listen-

bleeding, so they can’t be banned.

access to misoprostol and training health-

ing to local people and giving them

They’re also very cheap. My hunch is

care providers on its use. PSI is fortunate

ownership, which is crucial for any aid

that surgical abortions in the first

to partner with the “Edna Maternity

program. There are no silver bullets in

trimester will become much rarer and

Hospital.” Where should donor efforts be

development, and that includes family

that abortion will become much harder

placed in order to empower women like

planning and health work. But we’re

for governments to control.

Edna to save women’s lives in their own countries?

getting better at figuring out what works and how to make it happen. And

Ms. Judd: We often struggle to

reproductive health is clearly part of the

include men in family planning inter-

Mr. Kristof: Aid efforts usually go far-

package of solutions.

ventions, yet research shows that men

ther where there is local leadership and

significantly influence women’s repro-

knowledge. As Americans, our efforts are

Ms. Judd: You’ve been outspoken

ductive health decisions. What are the

most likely to succeed where we are the

about the need to reduce unsafe abor-

more successful strategies you have

sherpas assisting local heroes like Edna

tions, one of the leading preventable

seen to engage men in supporting a

climb their summits.

killers of women globally, and you have

woman’s right to make her own deci-

come out as a proponent of expanded


For example, Edna is trying to fight female genital mutilation (FGM), and that works because she’s a Muslim woman

availability of medication abortion. Mr. Kristof: We often try things like

who was herself cut as a child. When you

billboards and slogans to change atti-

get Americans denouncing FGM, there’s

Mr. Kristof: I think medications are

tudes, and it’s not obvious to me that

sometimes a backlash. So I think that to

going to transform abortions. Surgical

they work very well. The three things

the extent possible we should aim to sup-

abortion involves a measure of risk and

that seem most effective to change

port local efforts like Edna’s, with every-

is relatively easy for authorities to crack

men’s attitudes toward women (and

thing from accounting and fund-raising

down on. If a woman shows up at a

women’s attitudes toward themselves)

help to technical support like the post-

hospital after a botched surgical abor-

are education, television and income

partum hemorrhage treatments that you

tion, she can face legal consequences.





Getting more boys in school helps

The Reporter — October 2010

Nick tries to do the heavy lifting and a tricky balancing act that is the daily grind of local village women in DRC. Photo courtesy of PSI.

Ashley and Phil Marker, DRC Head, DFID (Department for International Development, British Government) visit a PSI warehouse and learn how to package PRUDENCE condoms. Photo courtesy of Marshall Stowell/PSI. www.popconnect.org

October 2010 — The Reporter


A nomadic tribeswoman in the Indian countryside. Photo: Ranjit Deshmukh, Courtesy of Photoshare


The Reporter — October 2010

There’s no question that “international women’s issues” are going from a fringe concern and a “soft” issue to a serious topic in the spotlight. Partly that’s because women’s rights are increasingly recognized not only as a justice issue but also as a way to fight poverty and reduce civil conflict.

mentaries to air on national television in

Population Services International

the fall of 2011, along with a traveling


museum exhibit and an on-line game to draw people into these issues. The other

PSI is a leading global health organ-

thing that is exciting is that Half the Sky


is now coming out in many foreign lan-

malaria, child survival, HIV and repro-

guages, including Arabic, and we hope

ductive health. Working in partner-



ship within the public and private sec-

abroad—and will build support for great

tors, and harnessing the power of the

groups like PSI that are on the front

markets, PSI provides life-saving


products, clinical services and behav-








ior change communications that • Mr. Kristof has been a columnist for

empower the world's most vulnerable

Ms. Judd: Do you think it's more

The New York Times since 2001. He

populations to lead healthier lives.

advantageous to have an overarching

won a Pulitzer with his wife Sheryl

PSI was founded in 1970 to

strategy to address the needs of girls or

WuDunn for their coverage of the

improve reproductive health using

allow the solutions to come from evi-

Tiananmen Square democracy move-

commercial marketing strategies. For

dence, research and the country/com-

ment in 1990 and in 2006 for his

its first 15 years, PSI worked mostly in

columns that focused attention on the

family planning (hence the name

Darfur genocide. Mr. Kristof has lived

Population Services International). In

Mr. Kristof: I’m a believer in step-by-

on four continents, reported on six and

1985, it started promoting oral rehy-

step evidence-based solutions. There’s a

traveled to more than 150 countries. In

dration therapy. PSI’s first HIV preven-

Chinese expression, mozhe shitou, guo

2009, Mr. Kristof and Ms. WuDunn co-

tion project—which promoted absti-

he, suggesting that the way you cross a

authored several books, including their

nence, fidelity and condoms—began

stream is to feel for the stones, step by

most recent, Half the Sky: Turning

in 1988. PSI added malaria and safe

step—and that’s an excellent approach


water to its portfolio in the 1990s and

to aid and development. Grand theories

Women Worldwide.

munity level?




woven in New York or Washington

tuberculosis in 2004. In 2009, PSI estimates that its pro-

rarely work very well, so it’s crucial to

• Celebrated actress and humanitarian


go and listen and self-correct and build

Ashley Judd is a board member for PSI.

150,000 HIV infections, 3.5 million

on what works.

Ms. Judd has visited PSI programs





nearly almost

worldwide to bring light to the devas-

270,000 deaths from malaria and

Ms. Judd: How excited are you about

tating effects of poverty, social injustice

diarrhea and 40 million malaria

the documentaries being made about

and gender inequality. She has visited


the incredible women featured in Half

Capitol Hill, addressed members of the

This interview was reprinted with

the Sky?

United Nations and testified before the

permission from Impact. The maga-

Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

zine, produced by PSI, is published

Mr. Kristof: The documentaries are

Ms. Judd received a master’s in Public

quarterly and is distributed to global

another way to reach beyond the choir

Administration in the Mid-Career pro-

health advocates, lawmakers, acade-

to a new audience, and that makes us

gram at the Harvard Kennedy School in

mia and media leaders in 70 countries

very excited. The plan is for the docu-


around the world. http://www.psi.org


October 2010 — The Reporter


India: Three Wives, Ten Kids Is Enough Article and Photos by Hanna Ingber Win

he air crackles as a team of medical staff and crew


walk across a peanut field, lugging a big generator from their boat into a village of 850 people. Near a

collection of thatch roof homes, the crew sets up a projector on the dirt floor of a small bamboo structure that also serves as the community’s schoolhouse. Well, it occasionally serves as a schoolhouse. The teacher lives on the mainland, a three to four-hour boat ride away, and only makes the journey along the Brahmaputra River to Tengatoli village in lower Assam to teach once a month. Sometimes once every two months. Barefoot children and mothers holding infants trickle into the school-turned-cinema hall. The boat staff, part of a boat clinic run by the Centre for North East Studies and Policy Research with funding from the Indian government and UNICEF, show a video on maternal and child health, including the importance of family planning. Some of the video clips are in Assamese, and even though many in the crowd only speak Bengali, the language barrier does not seem to dissuade them from watching. Many who live on this island without electricity or televisions have never before seen a video. One of the women watching is Anuwara Begum. Dressed in a vibrant yellow, orange and red sari, she wears her head covered, an assortment of bangles and a nose ring. Begum, who does not know her age but thinks she is about 30, grew up in a village on the mainland. Like many of the girls in her community, she got married at 12 or 13. She left her family and friends and moved to her husband’s village on the island. Begum had her first child at around age 15, she says as she slowly rocks her fourth and youngest in her arms. This baby will be her last, she says through a translator. She also says her husband agrees, which is crucial in a world where the wife—or, in this case, one of the wives—makes few decisions on her own. “I belong to a poor family so we don’t want more children,” Begum says while sitting in a neighbor’s home. Kids from the village gather outside the door, peering into the

This reporting was facilitated by a grant from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. See all of Hanna Ingber Win's reporting on maternal health in India at www.pulitzercenter.org.


The Reporter — October 2010

home of bamboo walls and a tin roof. Begum says three

© Ratselmeister | Dreamstime.com

sons and a daughter are enough to help around the home

produce next to her, she will begin taking an oral contra-

and in the fields. Her husband does relatively well as a

ceptive provided to her from the boat clinic. She tried using

farmer, earning around 8,000-9,000 rupees a month ($174-

it in the past, but she forgot to take the pills regularly and

$196), depending on the harvest, but that income must

eventually stopped. This time, she says, she is committed to

cover him and Begum plus his other two wives and all 10 of


his children. “If there is another child, there’s a problem of food, buying clothes and then educating him,” Begum says. Begum says she was a little jealous when her husband

Family planning is considered an important aspect of maternal health and would help reduce Assam’s maternal mortality rate, which at 480 deaths per 100,000 live births is the highest in India.

married his second wife, but she understood the need for

Fewer births means fewer maternal deaths. Furthermore,

her. She says that early in their marriage she fell sick and

giving adequate spacing between the births of children

was not able to fulfill her responsibilities as a wife.

enables a mother’s body to fully recover after a pregnancy.

“My husband is a rich man; he has a lot of agricultural

Having fewer children also increases the chance each indi-

land. But I was sick so I couldn’t do the household work,”

vidual child will receive enough nutrition and medical care

she says. “If I had been well, he wouldn’t have had to marry

and have an opportunity for an education.


After the interview, Begum takes us on a walk down a dirt

She says she now gets along well with the second wife,

path running through the village, past clucking hens and a

who has always shown her respect and has become like a

man chopping bamboo, to see her one-room home. We

sister to her. The third wife, who is about 16 or 17, lives in

meet her 10-year-old daughter, who has long brown hair, a

Guwahati on the mainland, where her husband has other

sweet smile and a flower-shaped nose ring that matches her

business. Begum says that while her father had only one

mother’s. But not everything matches.

wife, most of the husbands in this island village have two.

Begum says she and her husband will send their daughter

Asked if she wants a second husband, Begum turns her

to high school on the mainland. She wants her daughter to

head to the side and laughs.

wait to get married until she is 18 and then have only two

“No need for two husbands,” she says.

to three children. She agrees that it would be a big differ-

The family’s decision to have fewer children marks a dra-

ence from the life she has known.

matic change from previous generations of communities in lower Assam like Begum’s. She comes from a family of eight

“I expect my daughter's life,” she says, “to be better than my own.”

children, and her husband is one of 10. Less than a quarter of married women between the ages of 15 and 49 living in rural Assam use a modern form of contraception, according to the government’s 2005-2006 National Family Health Survey. Factors such as early marriage correlate with higher rates of fertility. While a change in family planning practices is coming slowly and is far from universal, public health experts in Assam say they are seeing an increase in the use of contraceptives in villages like Tengatoli. Once Begum’s menstruation cycle restarts after the birth of her latest child, she says, as a chick walks over a sack of


October 2010 — The Reporter


Washington View

Once Again, No Report Card Limited opportunity for votes on family planning By Stacie Murphy, Policy Associate

t’s the time of year when we typically do

tions. However, based on congressional action

our annual Report Card issue of The

so far, we do have some idea of the possible

Reporter, but as you may have noticed,



this issue has a different focus. That’s because, just like in the last couple of years, there sim-

In the House, the State-Foreign Operations Appropriations




ply have not been many votes on our issues.

Chairwoman Nita Lowey (D-NY), approved

A Congress that is generally supportive of

$735 million for international family planning

family planning means that hostile legislation

programs in 2011—nearly $20 million more

never makes it as far as a floor vote. Last year,

than President Obama requested. Included in

we addressed that issue by focusing our

the package is $60 million for the United

Report Card on relevant votes at the commit-

Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). This com-

tee and subcommittee level. This year, the

mitment to family planning is very welcome,

upcoming elections mean that the pace of

and is especially impressive given the fact that

legislation has slowed to a crawl, and even

the overall funding for international affairs is

that approach hasn’t produced much to talk

$4 billion less than the President sought.

about. We’ve included the one committee

Several weeks later, the Senate Appropriations

vote that did take place: an amendment

Committee approved a funding level of $700

intended to permanently repeal the Global

million, including $55 million for UNFPA.

Gag Rule (opposite page), but beyond that,

While not as high as either the President’s

there were no votes to document.

request or the House Subcommittee level, it represents a noteworthy increase in a difficult

Funding Levels Not Yet Determined, Headed in the Right Direction

There have been some positive develop-

predict the amount included in the final budg-

ments, however. In our last issue, we reported

et package, these numbers do give us some

that President Obama’s Fiscal Year 2011

idea of the range we might expect.

budget proposal called for nearly $716 million for international family planning—a $67 mil-


The Reporter — October 2010

economic climate. While it’s not possible to

A Mixed Decision on the Gag Rule, but Strong Support for a Permanent Repeal

lion increase over the FY 2010 enacted level

As with funding levels, the final policy out-

of $648.5 million. We were quite pleased with

comes are uncertain, and there is a divide

his request, and eager to see what Congress

between the House and the Senate. As part of

would do when they began their appropria-


tions process. That process is far from com-


plete—and in fact will almost certainly not

amendment sponsored by Senator Frank

continue until well after the November elec-

Lautenberg (D-NJ) permanently repealing the








Global Gag Rule. The amendment, which

Moving Forward

passed by a vote of 19-11, is designed to pre-

The outcomes for both funding levels and

vent a future president from unilaterally rein-

policy language are yet to be determined.

stating the policy. The breakdown of the votes

The most likely scenario is that sometime

is below.

after the election, House and Senate repreHouse

sentatives will consolidate multiple spending

Subcommittee did not choose to include a

bills into an omnibus package. Our ideal bill

similar provision in its version of the bill. There

would include the House funding level and

was strong support for doing so: 91 House

the Senate Gag Rule language. Since there

members, led by Rep. Joe Crowley (D-NY),

will be no opportunity to amend the package

sent a letter to Chairwoman Lowey urging her

once it reaches the floor, we will be working

to include this language in the bill. Mrs.

to ensure that our issues are addressed as the

Lowey made the choice not to do so in the

bill is being created.






“It is time to permanently end the dangerous and harmful Global Gag Rule and strengthen America’s position as an international leader for women’s rights.”

For information on how to help, please visit

hopes of creating a less contentious appropri-

our website: www.populationconnection.org.

ations process.

—Sen. Lautenberg

2010 Senate Appropriations Committee Voting Record 1. GLOBAL GAG RULE

During markup of the State Department/Foreign Operations bill, Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) offered an amendment to permanently bar a future president from imposing the Global Gag Rule. The vote occurred on July 29.



Alexander (R) TN Bennett (R) UT Bond (R) MO Brown (D) OH Brownback (R) KS Cochran (R) MS * Collins (R) ME Dorgan (D) ND Durbin (D) IL Feinstein (D) CA Gregg (R) NH www.popconnect.org

– – – + – – + + + + –





Harkin (D) IA Hutchison (R) TX Inouye (D) HI (Chair) Johnson (D) SD Kohl (D) WI Landrieu (D) LA Lautenberg (D) NJ Leahy (D) VT McConnell (R) KY Mikulski (D) MD Murkowski (R) AK


+ – + + + + + + – + +

+ –

Supported Population Connection position Opposed Population Connection position

Murray (D) WA Nelson (D) NE Pryor (D) AR Reed (D) RI Shelby (R) AL Spector (D) PA Tester (D) MT Voinovich (R) OH

+ – + + – + + –

* Ranking Member

October 2010 — The Reporter


Field & Outreach

We Can’t Grow on Like This

Stories from the Frontlines Women from Nigeria and Pakistan share their struggles with our members By Rebecca Harrington, National Field Coordinator

n May, Population Connection joined the

once their obstructed labor was already too

Centre for Development and Population

advanced for effective medical intervention.



In order to combat the tremendously high

Foundation to bring two dynamic speak-

rate of maternal mortality, the hospital staff

ers—Dr. Karima Tunau from Nigeria and

set up an emergency fund to cover the

Nabila Malick from Pakistan—to the United

incurred costs of any woman who requested

States for a series of panel discussions, enti-

care while pregnant or in labor. The availabil-

tled “Stories from the Frontlines.”

ity of this fund has cut the maternal mortality





We hosted events in Bellevue, WA; Bloomington, MN; and Columbus, OH. The

Prohibitively high costs and frequent stock

stories the women told in our target congres-

outs are persistent barriers to providing reli-

sional districts personalized their messages

able family planning services to women in

about the importance of funding internation-

Nigeria. The Ministry of Health distributes

al family planning programs.

contraceptive supplies to clinics at highly dis-

Dr. Tunau, an OB/GYN at the Usmanu

counted prices. But according to Dr. Tunau,

Danfodiyo University Teaching Hospital,

long periods of time pass without her hospi-

spoke about her country’s struggle with

tal receiving any of these supplies. As an

maternal mortality and limited contraceptive

example, there are currently over 100 women

access. Both are serious problems in Nigeria.

waiting for subdermal implants, which last up

The country has one of the highest maternal

to three years. And even with the govern-

mortality rates in the world, with 1,100

ment subsidy, the price of the contraceptives

deaths per 100,000 live births. Already the

themselves, when compounded with the

most populous country in Africa, Nigeria has

extraneous costs related to transportation

a total fertility rate of 5.7 children per

and missing work, is beyond the means of

woman. The country is projected to maintain

many Nigerian women. In fact, only 10 per-

the largest population at least through 2050.

cent of married women ages 15-49 use a

In 2005, the maternal mortality rate at Dr.


The Reporter — October 2010

rate in half in the last four years.

form of modern contraception.

Tunau’s hospital was 3,000 deaths per

The hospital formed a dedicated family

100,000 live births—even more shocking

planning clinic in 2007, which is able to pro-

than the dismal national average. The hospi-

vide counseling and services every day of the

tal staff discovered that most of the deaths

week, as opposed to twice a week before the

occurred among women who hadn’t received

clinic existed. The contraceptive prevalence

prenatal care, who were very poor, and who

rate among patients who deliver babies at

arrived at the hospital for emergency care

Usmanu has increased from 14 to 29 percent.

In order to make services available to all

access to contraceptives, the rate of preg-

local women, regardless of income, the fam-

nancy and childbirth is even higher among

ily planning clinic at the teaching hospital

Pakistan’s 1.5 million internally displaced

created a special fund and a committee in

people. Rahnuma needs reliable funding in

charge of maintaining a consistent and reli-

order to respond to emergency situations

able supply of contraceptives. This enables

quickly enough to mean the difference

the hospital to purchase family planning

between life and death for vulnerable

supplies from private retailers when the


Ministry of Health doesn’t come through with expected shipments.

Brian Dixon, Population Connection Vice President, moderated each of the panels,

Nabila Malick, Director of Advocacy for

and shared the policy implications of the

the Rahnuma Family Planning Association of

stories the two women told. He focused on

Pakistan, spoke about the crushing impact

the need to permanently end the Global Gag

the Global Gag Rule has had on her col-

Rule to prevent future gaps in the provision

leagues’ ability to serve the women who had

of services by organizations like Rahnuma.

come to rely on Rahnuma. Prior to President

He said that the “debate over abortion and

Bush’s imposition of the Gag Rule in 2001,

family planning in the U.S. is divorced from

Rahnuma, which is a member association of

the reality of the situation in the developing






Federation, reached about 10 percent of the

We were excited to meet people at the

population of Pakistan. Today, the associa-

three events who are eager to work with us

tion reaches only 3 percent. Even though

in their local communities. One woman, a

Rahnuma remains one of the largest and

member of a Unitarian church in Bellevue,

most respected providers in Pakistan, and

invited us to speak at several events at her

even though President Obama rescinded the

church over the coming year. A writer in

Gag Rule his first week in office, the agency

Minneapolis volunteered to write letters-to-

has yet to see U.S. support restored.

the-editor and op-eds on our behalf.

The maternal mortality rate in Pakistan

One of our student volunteers at Bellevue

has improved from what it once was, but is

College helped us reach out to other stu-

still 320 deaths per 100,000 live births.

dents and faculty on her campus. In

Malick argues that the high maternal mor-

Bloomington, we worked with the Director

tality rate is connected to the low status of

of the Center for Multicultural Services to

women in Pakistan. As an example, she

advertise the event to potentially interested

noted that in rural villages men will spend


money to save their livestock, but not to

College. At Ohio State University, we spread

save their wives. Because, according to these

the word to thousands of students through

men, “they can always get another wife.”

the women’s studies and public health pro-




Malick emphasized the high unmet need

grams, and the student activities office. We

for contraception, estimated at 33 percent

look forward to working with all of these

of Pakistani women. As a result of violence

groups again in the near future as we con-

and frustration, coupled with insufficient

tinue our target district activities.


October 2010 — The Reporter



Back to School With Pop. Ed. Program debuts updated curriculum, new trainers, and a video contest By Pamela Wasserman, Vice President for Education

s the 2010-2011 school year gets


ing growth curves to

underway, Population Connection’s

calculating CO2 emis-

Education Program is ready with new

sions and creating

curriculum materials and a group of new


workshop facilitators in Ohio. We’re even

mids, students dis-

getting a jump-start on next school year

cover how math

when world population reaches seven billion.

helps us under-


stand the trends that

More for the Middle Years

Middle school teachers will find new ver-



world. The lesson booklet was first pub-

sions of two popular teaching resources this

lished in 2002 and a newly-released supple-

fall. People and the Planet: Lessons for a

ment provides educators with current data on

Sustainable Future is Pop. Ed.’s interdiscipli-

global demographics and environmental

nary CD of 33 lesson plans and four readings


for grades 6-8. Now in its third edition, the

People and the Planet and Multiplying

curriculum helps students explore the inter-

People, Dividing Resources are available for

connections of human population growth,

purchase at www.populationeducation.org.

natural resource use, solid waste management, biodiversity, social justice, and commu-

Over the summer, Pop. Ed. hosted a special

inspire students to be problem-solvers and to

training institute to help build capacity to reach

“think globally and act

more teachers and students in Ohio. The

locally.” Activities are

weekend event was held amidst the natural

matched to national

surroundings of Mohican State Park in north-

standards for ten dif-

central Ohio on July 30–August 1. Veteran

ferent subject areas.

Ohio trainer, Cathy Knoop, joined with Pop.

Population edu-

Ed. staff to lead the group in K-12 activities

cation is a natural

and discussion of population issues. The 23

for the math class-

participants represented universities, school

room. Our curricu-

districts, state agencies and environmental



The Reporter — October 2010

Pop. Ed. in the Buckeye State

nity wellbeing. The activities are designed to




education centers from throughout the state.

Resources: Global Math Activities, builds

These institute graduates are already plan-

middle school math skills while exploring

ning workshops to facilitate for experienced

human ecology and geography. From graph-

and future teachers in their local areas.

Here's what some of them had to say: “I must say, the training we received from you and the quality of materials and resources is some of the BEST I have ever experienced! You did a top-notch job and I am so excited about using and sharing the materials.” —Nancy Varian, Director, Center for Professional Development, Malone University

“The work you do is very much appreciated. I wish you and your colleagues continued success. And, I am eager to implement the activities and content in future workshops for both teachers and K-12 students here at Case Western Reserve University.” —Karen Kwiatkowski, Center for Science and Math Education, Case Western Reserve University

moment,” Pop. Ed. is unveiling its World of 7 Billion educational campaign. A new website, www.worldof7billion.org, will debut this fall with lesson plans for grades 6-12 and school-wide events. The site also hosts a

“I so enjoyed the workshop this past week-

national video contest open to high school

end! Thank you all for your hard work in pre-

students. Contestants are asked to submit a

senting to us! Your staff was so enjoyable and

30-second public service announcement

friendly and I had a really good time!”

(PSA) relating one of five issues (energy,

—Leslie Wasserman, Assistant Professor, Heidelberg University

A World of 7 Billion

water, public health, economics or land use) to world population reaching seven billion. The contest will run from October 2010 until

Another world population milestone will

March 2011, with awards announced next

soon be upon us when we reach seven billion

spring. Winners will receive cash prizes of up

late next year. To give teachers time and plen-

to $1,500 and their teachers will receive free

ty of ideas to use this event as a “teachable

curriculum products for their classrooms.

Participants from the Ohio Teacher Training Institute www.popconnect.org

October 2010 — The Reporter



Used with the permission of Ann Telnaes and the Cartoonist Group. All rights reserved.


The Reporter — October 2010


One of the most pressing health issues facing women in rural Africa and in developing countries elsewhere is a steady and affordable supply of contraceptives.

Dhaka, Bangladesh

The distinction of being an overpopulated country has remained with Bangladesh for a long time. Notwithstanding all kinds of confidence-raising talks about turning the vast population into

And yet, as Ottawa unveils the first of its G8 mater-

resources, little actual progress has been achieved to

nal health programs in Africa, none so far has been

that end. The brisk population growth is only adding

dedicated to the funding of family planning services.

to unemployment and relatively a greater number of

This is a mistake.

the young ones are joining the ranks of those eligible

The oversight is especially hard to understand

for work.

because Canada wants to be regarded as a leader in

The population growth is already creating very

global health initiatives for women and children.

great pressures on the country’s limited resources in

Prime Minister Stephen Harper pledged $1.1 billion

areas of housing, feeding and employing the greater

of the $5 billion funds set aside at the G8 summit in

number. The environmental decline is also turning

June in Huntsville, Ontario—a centerpiece effort

serious from population growth. Even if Bangladesh

aimed at saving the lives of 1.3 million children and

attains double-digit economic growth rate in the

64,000 mothers. The plan contained a commitment

near future, still its per capita income would contin-

to voluntary family planning.

ue to be low as a consequence of unbridled popula-

Supply is the main barrier. Canada must address

tion growth and unable to rise to the level to achieve

this fundamental issue if it really wants to make a dif-

individual or collective greater comforts from more

ference in the lives of women in the developing

spending power.


Thus, any way one looks at it, it is imperative to —Editorial Excerpt, September 1, 2010

slow down population growth on a sustainable basis. —Editorial Excerpt, August 16, 2010

Population Connection


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Your legacy...people and the planet in balance Have you considered leaving a legacy gift, ensuring that your commitment to zero population growth continues well into the future? By remembering Population Connection in your will or estate plan, you can make a meaningful contribution to stabilizing population and improving the quality of life for everyone, everywhere. We also offer charitable gift annuities, which provide guaranteed life income and significant tax advantages. For more information, please contact Shauna Scherer, Major Gifts Manager, at sscherer@popconnect.org or 1-800-POP-1956. If you’ve already included Zero Population Growth (ZPG) in your estate plans, there is no need to change any language. We proudly maintain the name and the mission.

Profile for Marian Starkey

October 2010  

Maternal mortality

October 2010  

Maternal mortality