Monday, November 14, 2011

Seven Billions Kids and Counting

“The Empowerment Of Women Is The Only Cure For Poverty We Know”
Christopher Hitchens

A man I met in Kitgum together with
some of his wives and children
I love that quote!

It's something I strive to do in my work with Meaningful Volunteer. It is not coincidence that both of our district managers are women.  A tip of the hat to Eden and Esther.

Nor is it a coincidence that our various fair trade projects around the world are made up entirely of women.

Reproductive health options are critical to the empowerment of women and the reduction of poverty.

Having less children not only reduces the strain on the mother, it also:

  • Reduces the chance of civil war
    Rwanda is a hilly country with limited arable land.  One of the reasons that genocide exploded in 1994 was that there just wasn't enough land to go around and this exasperated the already tense situation between the Hutu and Tutsi.

    Anyone who opposes condoms in Sub-Saharan Africa needs to be slapped.
  • Helps the environment
    Not having kids is the most environmentally friendly thing you can do.

    Having 19 kids and taking them on a world tour is downright irresponsible.  The environmental impact from that one trip alone is staggering.

    If I were to choose a mother of the year award, it wouldn't go to Michelle Duggar, the mother of the aforementioned 19 kids.  I'd chose from among the countless women around the world taking running fantastic foster homes.  That's like having negative children.
  • Reduces poverty
    Scant resources like water and good go further in developing countries when there are less mouths to feed.

    Everyone likes those cute little Africa kids right?  Well I certainly do, but sometimes it is just too much.  During my recent 4 or so months stay in the small Ugandan village of Buyaya, the kids were like mosquitoes.  They were everywhere and it often became too overbearing for me.

According to U.N. estimates, the world population hit 7 billion people on Halloween 2011.  Some people believe this is already to much.

Reducing fertility rates down to replacement rates of 2.2 children per women is a good start.  Glorifying having 19 kids is not.

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