提高女性教育水平可控制人口增长

发布时间:2011/10/26   浏览次数:4217

Former Irish President Mary Robinson was just making polite conversation when she asked an Ethiopian teenager about her wedding day.

The 16-year-old had already been married a year.

"She looked at me with the saddest eyes and said, "I had to drop out of school,"" Robinson said in a telephone interview.

"That conveyed to me the reality," said Robinson, the first woman to serve as Ireland"s president and former U.N. high commissioner for human rights. "Her life, as far as she is concerned, had more or less ended."

Robinson said keeping girls in school was one of the most important things policymakers could do to address the coming challenges of an ever-increasing population, predicted by the United Nations to reach 7 billion at the end of the month.

"European countries are concerned about aging populations as is Japan, but this is much less of an issue than the huge bulge of people which we are going to see over the next 40 years when the population goes from 7 billion to 9 billion people," she said.

"Almost all of that increase will be in poor developing countries, so that we have a very big demographic challenge."

Family planning experts worry in particular about the looming population boom in sub-Saharan Africa.

In May, the United Nations projected the world population would reach 9.3 billion in 2050 and 10.1 billion by 2100. Much of that growth will come from Africa, where the population is growing at 2.3 percent a year -- more than double Asia"s 1 percent growth rate. If that rate stays consistent, which is not certain, Africa"s population will more than triple to 3.6 billion by 2100 from the current 1 billion.

Joel Cohen, a professor of population studies at Rockefeller University and Columbia University in New York, said universal secondary education offered a way to reduce population in high-fertility regions.

In addition to providing information about contraception, a secondary education motivates women to reduce their own fertility, improve the health of their children and allows them to move from a mind-set of having many children in the hopes that some will survive to improving the quality of each child"s life, Cohen wrote in the journal Nature.

爱尔兰前总统玛丽•罗宾森最近与一名埃塞俄比亚少女进行了友好交谈,询问了她有关结婚典礼的情况。

这位16岁的少女已经结婚一年了。

罗宾森在电话采访中说:“她用无比悲伤的眼神看着我,说,‘我被迫辍学了。’”

罗宾森说:“这让我看到了现实真相。她期盼的生活几乎终结了。” 罗宾森是爱尔兰首位女总统,还曾担任联合国前人权事务高级专员。

罗宾森表示,为应对人口增长带来的挑战,政府能做的最重要的事情就是让女孩多读书。据联合国预测,全球人口将在本月末达到70亿。

她说:“欧洲国家很担心出现日本那样的人口老龄化问题,但和人口快速增长相比,这都是小菜一碟。在未来40年里,全球人口将从70亿飙升至90亿。”

“几乎所有的新增人口都将出生在贫困的发展中国家,因此我们将面临严峻的人口挑战。”

计划生育专家尤其担心撒哈拉以南非洲地区的人口激增问题。

今年五月,联合国预计全球人口将在2050年达到93亿,在2100年达到101亿。大多数新增人口将来自非洲,非洲人口年增长率为2.3%,是亚洲人口增长率1%的两倍多。如果该比率保持稳定(但还不确定),非洲人口将在2100年涨至36亿,是目前人口(10亿)的三倍多。

纽约市洛克菲勒大学和哥伦比亚大学的人口研究教授乔尔•科恩称,在人口高增长地区,普及中等教育是控制人口的好办法。

科恩在《自然》杂志中说,除了传授避孕知识,中等教育还鼓励女性降低生育率,提高孩子的健康水平,另外还会让她们改变多生育,希望其中一些孩子可以存活的心态,引导她们提高每个孩子的生活质量。

 
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