While limiting children, or not having them at all, is a good way to fight global warming and the demise of our poor planet, there is nothing more inhumane in being told how many children you can have.
A rapid population growth of Muslims in Myanmar’s Rakhine state has caused the authorities to cap the number of children the Muslim community can bear, limiting the number to two.
State spokesman Win Myaing said that by limiting the number of children in the community, the new program can “stem rapid population growth” in the Muslim community. This rapid population growth, a government commission has found, is the leading cause of sectarian violence in the region.
A woman’s right to choose her number of offspring, especially in Muslim communities, and developing ones, is important as children often play a major role in developing the family unit, and bringing in money to these households.
The new “two-per” family limit does not apply to the minority of Buddhists living in this state.
China has a one-child limit, but this applies in reality only to poor families who cannot afford to pay the fines if they decide to have another. The new controversial ruling in Myanmar is the first in the world to limit child bearing based on religion. But it is certainly not the first country in the world to discriminate based on religion.
Family planning, and education, as these Middle East regional mayors discuss, may be better ways to deal with violence and poverty.
Large rural communities need large families to tend the farms or provide income for the household, but this is definitely not a sustainable way for the world as our population numbers climb towards 8 billion.
More environmental education, along with family planning, is key to our planet’s long-term success.
Image via cseashawaii.com