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MEGHA DATTA

INDIA

'As a privileged urban middle class Indian woman, I may not be an authority figure on the subject, but in my own experience, I can trace the impact of population on almost all aspects of our lives. Just having an empathic heart is enough for one to realise what overpopulation does to our world. 

 

From physically congested environments, sometimes surrounded with waste, filth and pollution, to greater insecurity for shared resources, mistrust, unhealthy competition - the list of impacts is long. In generations before mine, many families had 5-6 children - often the result of an incessant hankering for boys. Women were limited to rearing children and maintaining the house. They had no agency, no say in financial matters. Not even in matters of family planning. 

 

In the 2000s, things began to change: an increased focus on family planning, empowering and educating girls, and increasing women in the workforce. I see that the more educated women are, the more financially independent they become, and better is their agency for family planning. Women are consciously choosing fewer children and a better life for their families. We must come together to tackle overpopulation, which is intrinsically tied to the agency that women have.'