Yemen marks World Population Day while it struggles with population growth [Archives:2008/1171/Local News]

July 10 2008

By: Ismael Al-Ghabri
SANA'A, July 9)The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) is encouraging Yemen to observe July 11th's World Population Day by focusing on the right of women to plan their families, thereby promoting the wellbeing of all family members.

Family planning allows a wife and her husband to decide the number of children they want to have and the time span in between each birth. The world declaration of Human Rights affirms this right, which can be implemented through different forms of contraception available on the market.

But for families to be able to plan, they must first have access to information and to reliable contraceptive methods. This is currently a struggle for Yemen. To help improve reproductive education in the country, UNFPA has organized various training courses for religious leaders throughout the different governates to spread the message that family planning is Islamically-approved. Islam is one of the most tolerant and open religions in regards to family planning and contraceptive usage. Yemen has some of the world's highest birthrates and maternal mortality rates. Spacing between births and using contraceptives to do this can help reduce the maternal mortality rate dramatically.

“Family planning is also essential to women's empowerment and gender equality. When a woman can plan her family