World in the Balance: The People Paradox
The DVD documentary, World in the Balance: the People Paradox, is a fifty-six minute analysis of three regions of the world where different social and economic forces have played a pivotal role in generating severely different population profiles.
In India, the DVD reveals that women still give birth to an average of three to four children and they do not have control over their reproductive lives because it is a patriarchal society in which all the decisions concerning sexual reproductive health are left for the men. The southern part of India has a birth rate of two children, which is different from the rest of the country’s higher birth rate.
The practice of arranged marriages, dowries, and burnings of women who do not give birth to sons has resulted in the sub-continent’s population explosion; as a result, it is likely to surpass China as the country with the most number of people in the world.
In Japan, the DVD reveals that there is a growing concern of the lower reproduction rates in the country, which is at 1.3 children per family. More females have become members of the Japanese corporate culture that has increased their role in the society; consequently, they are unable to get the time to have children and care for them.
In addition, Japan is also faced with the problem of “parasite singles.” It is said that these individuals do not want to become “Christmas cakes” at the age of twenty-five.
In Japan, individuals, particularly the females, are required to look after their aging parents; as such, there is no enough time for the women to look after their own children. The Japanese government is trying to solve this problem by giving women incentives so as to persuade them to give birth and avert possible future problems such as pension and productivity predicaments.
Lastly, in the sub-Saharan Africa, the DVD exposes that that similar to India, the region still has a high birth rate. However, the AIDs pandemic has resulted in a “knob” style population pyramid, particularly in Kenya in which the disease has taken a heavy toll on adults between the age of twenty and sixty.
This has left the very old and the young to find their own means of sustaining themselves. Further, in Kenya, where the birth rate is at four children per woman, there is unmet need for family planning and cases of adolescents getting pregnant and aborting their babies are increasing.
In my opinion, something has to be done to address the imbalance of the world’s population problems. In reference to the DVD, individuals in poorer societies conduct themselves according to the familial requirements of their cultures while the individuals in the more affluent nations have other alternatives for achieving self-satisfaction, and this trend leaves those who are unable to have children to be considered as potential moral parasites.
I think that the future population of the richer countries in the world is threatened towards a dead end since the majority of their population is aged and the low reproduction rate in the countries is well below the replacement rate.
Thus, more initiatives should be taken to address this looming problem. And, for the developing countries, such as India and Kenya, more initiatives should be adopted to lower their high birth rate such that the resources they have can be channeled effectively for meeting the demands of a reasonable population level.