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Globalization: The Promises and The Perils, U.S. and Asian Responses

Informatics Creative Commons photo-patchwork. (musha68000/Flickr)

Informatics Creative Commons photo-patchwork. (musha68000/Flickr)

2. Nicholas Platt: I want to explore what's good about globalization with the relationships between men and women in Asia.

Dr. Sadik: Well there are many positive things. For example, information technology. I think what you see on the television and the satellite and you look at in e-mail systems and so on, the information flow; I think that really does make a change. I think from the international community and from the international level, one thing is very clear, that you know all women's rights, gender groups, human rights groups, what they use as their basis for defining their own work, are the international conventions and agreements. That's, I think, part of this globalization process. The networking has really been tremendous. Recently, in a case in Pakistan on these links for example, one person here in the United States set up a website and has linked herself with millions of people - literally millions - around the world and they have all come together on this issue and it's really having an effect in Pakistan. I think there are many benefits.

Now, between women and men, I'm not absolutely certain that I really thought about women and men but I think the status of women certainly makes a difference to the relationship between women and men and the understanding that you can have more than you have. That's the best answer I can conceive for you.

3. Mr. Clark: Could you give us a brief rundown, country by country in Asia as to the population control in each country - if it wouldn't be too much of an imposition.

Dr. Sadik : You mean the growth rates? I think the growth rates in all the countries of the region are declining. In China, I think the size of family has come down to two or 2.1. Indonesia, for example, also is going to be at what is called replacement level fertility. So is Thailand and Malaysia by the year 2002. In the case of the Philippians, also family size has declined - not as much as the other East Asian regions, but it is declining. It is the same with Vietnam. The countries that are behind are Cambodia and Laos, which I've only just started and we haven't even got a program.

In the case of Bangladesh, they're doing extremely well. The size of family has really reduced to 3.5. India, the continent, is quite varied. The South, as you know, is increasingly reaching replacement level fertility but the states of the north, Bihar, UP in particular, but also Haryana, and Rajasthan, even with the high economic level, because the status of women is so low; they don't have the decision making power in their families in family planning issues. So the size of family continues to be much higher.

The Indian growth rate is - I don't remember now - it's 2.8 or something of that order. Size of family is something like 3, something average. In the South, it's much lower, but in the North, it's much higher. Pakistan has a size of family still of five. It's come down from seven and the demographers say demographic transition has started but its really way behind in the demographic transition.