Demographic Transition and Role of Women

By Faheem Baig

“Economic Development may be far from “the best contraceptive” (That it is sometimes described as) on the other hand, social development- especially women’s education and employment- can be very effective indeed”.

                                                                                                Amartya Sen, Nobel Laureate

Throughout the twentieth century and in twenty-first century, west and international development agencies particularly United Nations sought to achieve development not in only in their own territories, but also in few parts of the globe, especially in Africa, Asia, North America and Caribben. This focuses’ on development has persistent into twenty-first century, for example, through the Millennium Development Goals and Sustainable Development Goals. While development frequently considered as something very constructive, it is also very crucial to understand the potential bad effects of development on ordinary environment, different social structures, and on sustainable development programs.

According to the annual report of UN 2013 population division the world population reached about 7.2 Billion and supposes to rise up to 8.1 billion in 2025 and cross 9.6 billion by the year 2050. The overwhelming greater part of that population will reside in the developing nations. These 7.2 billion people and rate of population increasing day by day, one of the earliest studies in development nations of the relationship between people and natural resources was that of Thomes Robert Malthus. In his 1798 Essay on the principles of population he discussed about the effect rising population in world. Malthus believes that, population of country grows at a geometric rate exponentially with each generation and at the same time food supply only increases by the same set numbers at arithmetic rate.

As many forms of environmental problems resources scarcities, economic growth, education, and population growth are regarded as global problems. Here we are focusing on the issues in population growth, particularly of demographic transition and role of women taking shares in economic activities in market.

Over the course of human history it is observed that the countries having high standard of living have low population growth rate. These debates are part of polices in academia, government ministries, and development agencies around the world and influenced many policy makers to construct a reliable solution. Here we will begin with understanding demographic transition.

Demographic transition is the chain of stages that a nation goes throughout when transition from non-industrial to radical industrial. The model is used to give details how population increase and economic development of countries are linked. The theory of demographic transition has three steps; Pre Industrial, Transitional, Industrial and current stage is fourth Postindustrial and new fifth hypothetical stage of automation.

The theory of demographic transition is excellent forecaster of how countries will transform both in inhabitants and communally as transition from non-industrial to developed arenas. While the theory has proving accurate in many developed countries over the years it is only the form and cannot completely find out how country will react to potential variations.

Stage one: Pre- Industrial

High birth rates because of low health facilities , poor cleanliness, and incomplete food supply as effect of high fatality rates public tends to make new offspring’s to try to pay damages of death rate.

Stage two: Transitional

Following the industrial stage is transitional stage. Human growth begins to rise due to high birth rate and decreasing fatality. Fatality rates are reducing due to stepping of country into industrial stages, their betterment in financial system and collective environment. These variations need to manage of diseases, production of additional foodstuff, enhanced health, jobs, better sanitation and health, as fatality rate decreases the birth rate stay high for the reason that community still custom of producing new babies. 

Stage Three: Industrial

This phase is characterized by growing population with decreasing fertility rate and little fatality rate. The fatality rate remains constant and low throughout the stage. As result of the persistence of economic and communal changes that pick up better standard of living during earlier stage. During this phase birth rates begun to low due to multiple factors. For the larger part people understand that they no longer have to make large number of offspring because the offspring having higher chances of survival to adulthood. A lot of people also start to wish small households where they give attention to additional wealth except inhabitants and increase over a livelihood. The sloping birth rate also correlates with raise in employment chances for women and increase approach to contraception. Even though growth rates are squeezing the population continues to rise because of low fatality rates and movement of people from the preceding stage produced extra on the whole people that will get reach to reproductive period and still if they produced smaller number offspring then earlier generations they are still adding together to the population.

Stage four: Post Industrial

This point is considered by constant human population resulting with both low birth rate and death rate. The birth rate and fatality rate remain at initial points due to financially viable and societal variations of the preceding stages as the gape is reduced between death rates and birth rates the individuals will stop producing and remain at constant level.

At the moment, we have huge literature on demographic transition on multiple forms and in different ways, for example in relation to decline in birth they incorporate the part of education, technology, socio-economic conditions, family planning programs and government interventions. Within these dimensions a great deal of researches and text has been written about the impact of women’s participation and position on both levels of and tendencies in mortality and fertility. Similarly, there are also huge explanations on measurement of women status, education and employment; while fresh measures pointing on freedom of choice, for example, women house hold decisions as well as strategic life choices. During the transition phases of population growth, the improvements in role of women as key facilitator seen widely.

The inclination on women’s position and sexual characteristics and disparities to demographic transition was discussed in 1994 Cairo Conference on population and development and different policy implications, researches, and debates started. The debates on how women’s work position affect demographic outcomes and implications on demographic transition.

In many researches it is evident that in sub- Saharn African’s most demographically improved countries, women’s participation in economic, social, and political areas remains very limited in spite of fertility decline and development in women’s education. The failing economic conditions in Zimbabwe have affected both males and females. Still in western countries, some researches argue that, the attainment and sustainability of below-replacement fertility should not necessarily be translated as the final demographic indicator of ability of women to participation in market activities. It is believe that, it enhanced despite the co-existence of sustained gender disparity in the households, for example, in relation to bringing up of kids, with much more equal opportunities outside markets, for example in the workplace, together with insufficient state policies to create motherhood and working conditions more compatible. It is true to believe that, in such circumstances, females manage to deal both family and market roles by reducing their productiveness to lower than replacement level.

Now it is commonly believed that, many women’s achieved increased participation, education, employment from demographic transition with decline in fertility. The achievement of demographic transition non-economic activities of women’s was reduced and encourages girls to enroll themselves in schools and other market work force. In 1960’s President Ayub Khan introduced crash program for Pakistan and completely failed and reduction was started in 1990’s.

Currently, different countries are experiencing different stages of their demographic transition process. It put many people in doubt that in some countries, Western Europe the concern is already with low population growth, while in African nations it is still at primarily stages.

Finally, it is evident from developing and developed nations when there is a strict lack of males in the economically productive stages occur large number of females drawn into work force to help recover deficit. This has also been recommended there in the developed nations the economic contribution of women earlier than marriage changed utilization preferences and thus gave movement to economic development.

The contributor is an M.Phil student at PIDE, Islamabad. He can be reached at baigfaheem88@gmail.com

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