Population Report Heavy on Rhetoric, Short on Analysis, says think tank
IPN Press release
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LONDON -- Caroline Boin, a policy analyst at London think tank International Policy Network (www.policynetwork.net), criticised a new report produced by the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) – launched today in London – for its simplistic analysis and attempt to conflate population control and climate change.
“Year after year, the UNFPA report is full of politically correct twaddle, and this year is no exception. Whatever the problem, the UNFPA repeats the same old mantra – the culprit is population and the solution is condoms,” said Ms Boin.
She explained that widespread evidence shows that population control programmes have been either benign or counterproductive. She criticised the report for its patronising approach to women.
“The UNFPA generally refuses to consider the fact that economic empowerment – not contraception – is the lynchpin for development,” she said. “Women in poor countries need to be able to own property and businesses, to trade freely and participate in the formal economy. Only then will they cast off the shackles of poverty.”
Ms Boin also questioned the motives of the report, saying: “This is just another weak attempt by the UNFPA to justify its own existence by jumping on the climate change bandwagon. UNFPA has existed for three decades and every year spends hundreds of millions of dollars. Yet it has changed little for hundreds of millions of poor women in the world.”
She highlighted the importance of using practical approaches to tackle the problems facing poor women – whether or not caused by climate change. “Food scarcity, water shortages, and health problems in poor countries truly are threats for women. Population and climate control policies are not the solution, and if anything, will give governments an excuse to remain complacent in addressing poverty,” concluded Ms Boin.