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Urgent Call for Population Management and Women Empowerment on World Population Day

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Spokesman Report
Lahore : While observing World Population Day, the speakers urged the government to prioritize population control by focusing on four key components including women empowerment, resource mobilization, population management, and poverty alleviation.
PODA, in collaboration with the Department of Social Work at the University of Punjab, Lahore, observed World Population Day at the university premises. The event saw participation from a diverse group including students, community members, academicians, government officials from the social work and education departments, lawyers, media personnel, health workers, professionals, NGO representatives, and politicians.
The observance is part of PODA’s three-year project titled “Reduce Early Marriages to Enhance Gender Equality,” funded by the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Islamabad. World Population Day is marked annually on July 11. By resolution 45/216 of December 1990, the United Nations General Assembly decided to continue observing this day to raise awareness of population issues, including their relation to the environment and development. The day was first observed on July 11, 1990, in more than 90 countries.
Urgent Call for Population Management and Women Empowerment on World Population DayDr. Qais Aslam, Professor of Economics and Head of the Business School at the University of Central Punjab, emphasized the need to manage and balance the population according to existing resources. He highlighted the urgent need to provide skill-based education to both women and men so they can work together to improve their quality of life.
Tanveer Jahan, Executive Director of the Democratic Commission for Human Development, Lahore stated that reducing child marriage contributes to lower population growth by allowing girls to complete their education and enter the workforce, leading to smaller, healthier families. This change fosters economic stability and improves the overall quality of life for future generations.
Prof. Javeria Q. Joyia, Director of Sustainability at UCP and International Climate Reality Leader, USA, discussed ways to adapt to climate change effectively by utilizing available resources and emphasizing the importance of donating unused items and recycling. She stressed the need for innovation and entrepreneurship to utilize resources efficiently while generating livelihoods for others.
Nida Usman Chaudhary, Advocate and Founder of the Women in Law Initiative, Pakistan, underscored the need for a comprehensive reproductive health policy. She highlighted that population is not just a personal family planning issue but also a women’s rights, human rights, economic, environmental, and survival issue for the state. It is a political stability issue that can exacerbate inequalities leading to social unrest and higher crime rates, she added.
Quoting a study, she said, “Family planning alone, without improving the low status of women and girls around the world, will likely have only a limited impact on broader economic and social development.”
Dr. Zunera Mushtaq from the Family Planning Association of Pakistan emphasized the need to effectively meet family planning service demands, noting that the current use of contraceptives in Pakistan is significantly lower than required. Highlighting the need to reduce early marriages, Jugni Theatre Group from Chakwal also presented an educational play on the importance of education which is fundamental human rights of girls.
Other speakers included Lubna Mansoor, Regional Director at the Ministry of Human Rights, Dr. Uzma Aashiq, Head of the Department of Social Work at Punjab University, Lahore, and Dr. Ammara Fayyaz, Assistant Director of the Population Welfare Department.

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