THE PAKISTAN DEVELOPMENT REVIEW
K. Mahadevan (ed). Fertility Policies in Asian Countries. New Delhi: Sage Publications. 1989.320 pp.Hardbound. Indian Rs 225.00.
The book consists of twelve papers and presents the contributors’ observations regarding fertility control policies in Australia, Bangladesh, China, India, Iran, Kuwait, Malaysia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, and Thailand. In the first paper, which provides a perspective (mostly in the Indian context) to the concerns about policy formulation for fertility control, the authors discuss various issues and place an emphasis on the multi sectoral approach. The need to implement the policies for eligible couples, for female education and enhancement of female status, for strengthening the strategies for programme development and management, and for making policies relating to the elderly people, is stressed in this paper. The paper on planned birth policies of China provides a view of the actions and the successes achieved through organised programmes in the recent years. Conceding that the programme in China was not entirely voluntary, the paper also highlights the problems and failures of the fertility control efforts through the emphasis on a single-child family, especially in the rural areas.