From : Alexei Drozdov                      2:5030/463.5    02 Jan 02  19:51:45

Hе  знаю,  как  у  Вас  с  английским,  но  вот  интересная заметка на тему
демографии. Это не учебник, но  кое-что там понять можно о  сложных связях,
которые  определяют   возможности  и   невозможности  проведения   разумной
демографической политики.

Всего хорошего, ASK


Eco-Economy Successes & Setbacks
Copyright 2001 Earth Policy Institute
For Immediate Release
December 28, 2001

Success Provides a Model for Other Developing Countries

Janet Larsen

Iran's population growth rate dropped from an all-time high of 3.2  percent
in  1986  to  just  1.2  percent  in  2001,  one  of the fastest drops ever
recorded.  In reducing  its population growth to  1.2 percent, a rate  only
slightly higher  than that  of the  United States,  Iran has  emerged as  a
model for  other countries  that want  to accelerate  the shift  to smaller

Historically,  family  planning  in  Iran  has  had  its ups and downs. The
nation's first family planning policy,  introduced in 1967 under Shah  Reza
Pahlavi, aimed  to accelerate  economic growth  and improve  the status  of
women  by  reforming  divorce  laws,  encouraging  female  employment,  and
acknowledging family planning as a human right.

Unfortunate  ly,  this  promising  initiative  was  reversed in 1979 at the
beginning  of  the  decade-long  Islamic  Revolution  led  by Shiite Muslim
spiritual leader  Ayatollah Khomeini.  During this  period, family planning
programs were seen as undue western influences and were dismantled.  Health
officials were  ordered not  to advocate  contraception. During  Iran's war
with  Iraq  between  1980  and  1988,  a  large  population was viewed as a
comparative  advantage,  and  Khomeini  pushed  procreation  to bolster the
ranks of "soldiers for Islam," aiming for "an army of 20 million."

This strong pronatalist stance led  to an annual population growth  rate of
well over 3  percent. United Nations  data show Iran's  population doubling
from  27   million  in   1968  to   55  million   in  1988.   (See   figure

During  postwar  reconstruction  in  the  late 1980s, the economy faltered.
Severe  job  shor  tages  plagued  overcrowded  and polluted cities. Iran's
rapid population  growth was  finally seen  as an  obstacle to development.
Receptive to  the nation's  problems, Ayatollah  Khomeini reopened dialogue
on the subject  of birth control.  By December 1989,  Iran had revived  its
national family  planning program.  Its principal  goals were  to encourage
women  to  wait  three  to  four  years  between pregnancies, to discourage
childbearing for  women younger  than 18  or older  than 35,  and to  limit
family size to three children.

In May of  1993, the Iranian  government passed a  national family planning
law  that  encouraged  couples  to  have  fewer  children  by   restricting
maternity  leave  benefits  after  three  children.  It also called for the
Ministries of  Education, of  Culture and  Higher Education,  and of Health
and  Medical  Education  to  incorporate  information on population, family
planning, and  mother and  child health  care in  curriculum materials. The
Ministry of Islamic  Culture and Guidance  was told to  allow the media  to
 raise awareness  of population  issues and  family planning  programs, and
the Islamic Republic of  Iran Broadcasting was entrusted  with broadcasting
such  information.  Money  saved  on  reduced  maternity  leave funds these
educational programs.

>From 1986 to 2001, Iran's total fertility-the average number of children

born to a woman  in her lifetime-plummeted from  seven to less than  three.
The United Nations projects that by 2010 total fertility will drop to  two,
which is replacement-level fertility.

Strong government  support has  facilitated Iran's  demographic transition.
Under the  current president,  Mohammad Khatami,  the government  covers 80
percent of family  planning costs. A  comprehensive health network  made up
of mobile clinics and 15,000  "health houses" provides family planning  and
health services to  four fifths of  Iran's rural population.  Almost all of
these  health  care  centers  were  established  after 1990. Because family
planning is integrated  with primar y  health care, there  is little stigma
attached to modern contraceptives.

Religious  leaders  have  become  involved  with  the  crusade  for smaller
families, citing them as a  social responsibility in their weekly  sermons.
They also have issued fatwas,  religious edicts with the strength  of court
orders, that permit  and encourage the  use of all  types of contraception,
including  permanent  male  and  female  sterilization-a first among Muslim
countries. Birth control,  including the provision  of condoms, pills,  and
sterilization, is free.

One  of  the  strengths  of  Iran's  promotion  of  family  planning is the
involvement of men.  Iran is the  only country in  the world that  requires
both  men  and  women  to  take  a  class  on  modern  contraception before
receiving a  marriage license.  And it  is the  only country  in the region
with a government-sanctioned condom factory.  In the past four years,  some
220,000 Iranian men have had  a vasectomy. While vasectomies still  account
for only 3  percent of contraceptio  n, compared with  female sterilization
at 28 percent, men nonetheless are assuming more responsibility for  family

Rising  literacy   and  a   national  communications   infrastructure   are
facilitating  progress  in  family  planning.  The  literacy rate for adult
males increased  from 48  percent in  1970 to  84 percent  in 2000,  nearly
doubling in  30 years.  Female literacy  climbed even  faster, rising  from
less than 25  percent in 1970  to more than  70 percent. Meanwhile,  school
enrollment grew from  60 to 90  percent. And by  1996, 70 percent  of rural
and  93  percent  of  urban  households  had  televisions,  allowing family
planning information to be spread widely through the media.

As  one  of  17  countries  already  facing absolute water scarcity, Iran's
decision  to  curb  its  rapid  population  growth  has  helped   alleviate
unfolding water  shortages exacerbated  by the  severe drought  of the past
three  years.   An  estimated  37  million  people,  more  than  half   the
population, do not have enough water.

The lack of water  for irrigation has helped  push Iran's wheat imports  to
6.5  million  tons  in  2001,  well  above  the  5.8 million tons of Japan,
traditionally the world's leading importer. Total grain production  dropped
steeply between 1998 and 2000, from 17 million to 10 million tons,  largely
because of  the drought.  The grain  area harvested  has decreased steadily
since 1993, rapidly shrinking grain production per person.

Dwindling per capita arable land and water supplies reinforce the need  for
population   stabilization   through   forward-thinking   family   planning
programs.  Had  the Iranian population  maintained its 1986  growth rate of
3.2 percent, it would have doubled by 2008, topping 100 million instead  of
the projected 78 million.

Because almost  40 percent  of Iran's  population is  under the  age of 15,
population  momentum  is  strong  and  growth  in  the  immediate future is
inevitable. To keep  growth rates low,  Iran needs to  continue emphasizing
the social value of smaller families.

Among  the  keys  to  Iran's  fertility  transition are universal access to
health  care  and  family  planning,  a  dramatic  rise in female literacy,
mandatory   premarital   contraceptive   counseling   for   couples,  men's
participation  in  family  planning  programs,  and  strong  support   from
religious  leaders.  While  Iran's  population  policies  and  health  care
infrastructure  are  unique,  its  land  and  water scarcity are not. Other
developing countries with fast-growing populations can profit by  following
Iran's lead in promoting population stability.

#     #     #

Additional data and  information sources at  http://www.earth-policy.org or
contact   spm111@yandex.ru   For   reprint   permissions    contact

For more information on  stabilizing population by reducing  fertility, see
chapter  10   of  Eco-Economy:   Building  an   Economy  for   the   Earth.
http://www.earth-policy.org/Books/index.htm -- 

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