So the latest commitment to Indian women’s uterus comes from Melinda Gates. The emphasis on population control is not new..neither is the enormous amount of rich-will behind it! just like any policy or program, the teeth of the policy or the will behind it is always measured by the rupees or dollars invested..and in that way a lot has been done to undertake population control programs in India. and yet we made it to a billion and some 20 odd million people …and we also made it to skewed gender ratio…914 girls to 1000 boys (skewed is fast becoming my favorite word). apparently there has been a shift in number of desired children in rural and urban areas. According to some of the most recently published papers on fertility and contraception, women produce fewer children once they have the desired number of boys. …so in spite of Sweden, Norway, and now Melinda Gates.putting much weight behind it…the outcomes and method remain debatable. the central argument is or should be child rights to a healthy happy and safe life and transition to adulthood, safety and care during child-birth and lowering maternal mortality, unfortunately however the argument as framed now remains one of anti poverty – and become sin practice anti-poor…. and the people affected get it….or so it would seem…they continue to have children as a low investment- higher returns and continuity in returns activity, the main reason why poor households have more children. It is not a lack of awareness or cultural practices which have a much more limited influence….on the other side low wage, high labor occupations that are generated for women under the development paradigms does impinge on their time, adds to their existing work and might also be a deterrent…the disconnect between published research and real conversation of villages and women and family and community thinking around children is funny…all these good intentions seem to be delusional because, a woman’s uterus is not floating around with a free will…it resides in a body and mind and survives within a household, in relationships and community….the choice should not be to have 1 child or 3..the choice should be have a full-time employment, 3 full meals for you and your family, leisure, and rest, and time to develop into a person not a role!
the need is to develop the holistic population control law with laws for women, children, and poverty….not just reproductive rights…there is this twisted way to look at a problem by taking out the main people affected by it and putting in only advocates f some sentiment or the other…while women even today don’t have conversations about fertility with men.