I reviewed “Fertility Control: China” that I found on Colby College website (http://personal.colby.edu/personal/t/thtieten/pop-chi.html). The population control policy was introduced as a tool for economic development of the country at the time. The study uses economic tools to see the relationship between government enforcement of population control policies and fertility outcomes. It allows the fertility rate to be affected by household preferences, and production technology (changes in agricultural output or income). From 1950’s to late 1980’s, there were three shocks; government, agricultural output, and preferences shocks. They concluded that significant unexpected changes in government leadership lead to both positive and negative impacts to fertility rate, but only short-term. The other two shocks (especially preference) lead to a long fertility cycles in China. Final results from the study suggest that population control isn’t sufficient to promote economic development or sustainability without permanent shifts in individual preferences.
The second case that I chose is about inclusion of women in workforce in South Asia. In my opinion, the IDRC is taking the necessary step to closen the gender gap in education and employment rate through the development of human resource. IDRC started the Growth and Economic Opportunities for Women (GrOW) program in Pakistan, to examine the factors that keep women from attending training programs. Similarly in Northern Bangladesh, the program involves skills training and a stipend, followed by an internship at a garment factory. To date, more than 90% of graduates have found work. Furthermore, the Delhi-based Institute for Human Development (IHD) are working to report how the varying growth of employment in the manufacturing sector reflects wider economic constraints on women’s employment (why only 4.9% of working Nepali women are in manufacturing versus 25% in Sri Lanka).(http://www.idrc.ca/EN/Resources/Publications/Pages/ArticleDetails.aspx?PublicationID=1411)
I’m interested in the connection between these two cases with one of my hometown in Singapore where it’s also known to have employed population policies to encourage its economic and social development. The policy is almost similar to China’s but it was too effective and backfired when they end up with a smaller workforce to sustain their economy, due to increasing development of Singapore. This was indicated by the fact that more women followed careers rather than starting a family. The fascinating connection between the three cases is how women plays an important role as a tool and indicator of countries development. The added value to women due to human development is among many countries’ way to make way for economic boom- more education for women leads to higher employment rate, making raising child an expensive utility, so population is controlled and consume less of the country’s resources. Examining these three different places allows us to observe the similarities and differences between various geographical aspects. It might be different in other places where probably the women are more socially oppressed, or we can also look at whether any ‘developed’ countries has a large female working class to prove the hypothesis. Time component is important too, like in the China study case where the policies changes throughout the decades significantly alters the nation’s population composition.