Population, the status of women, and stability in Afghanistan

Type Journal Article - Southern African Journal of Demography
Title Population, the status of women, and stability in Afghanistan
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2012
URL http://mobi.unisa.ac.za/contents/faculties/ems/docs/2012_SA Journal of Demography_04 July 2012_with​covers.pdf#page=6
We suggest that the development projects introduced by the United States as part of its overall strategy to defeat the Taliban in Afghanistan are more likely to succeed if investments aim at increasing the overall quality of life for both men and women, with special attention given to women. We focus on the importance of investments that are designed specifically for women, to include reproductive health, and both academic and vocational training. Our suggestions are based on Afghanistan's population growth trajectory, which, in combination with the country’s weak economy, fosters a demographic pattern that research has shown is linked to armed conflict. In Afghanistan’s case, the combination feeds the Taliban insurgency and, as such, serves to diminish the possibility of country and regional stability. Moreover, while infant and child mortality are declining, women continue to have, on average, around six children each. Given the Government of Afghanistan's current limited capacity, it is doubtful that it can develop and sustain socio-economic structures to sustain such rapid population growth. Hence, we argue that the components fueling this growth need to be addressed.

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