Birth control emphasized

In this Sept. 23, 2013 file photo, Saudi women and their children walk along a street as they make their way to a celebration rally marking the 83rd Saudi Arabian National Day in the desert kingdom's capital Riyadh

In this Sept. 23, 2013 file photo, Saudi women and their children walk along a street as they make their way to a celebration rally marking the 83rd Saudi Arabian National Day in the desert kingdom’s capital Riyadh

Experts have emphasized the need for population control to preserve the economic resources and urged the Council of Senior Islamic Scholars and the Shoura Council to express their opinion on the sensitive issue.

“People are afraid of talking about birth control in the Kingdom because of sensitivity and ignore the educational, economic and organizational dimensions of the issue,” said Fadhel Al-Bouainain, an economist.

“Families have to apply birth control in order to reduce expenses and provide better education and facilities to their children,” he said while describing the Kingdom’s population growth as the highest in the world.

He said birth control was essential to reduce pressure on the country’s infrastructure facilities, especially for health, education and housing. “Birth control should be a strategic objective,” he said.

According to the latest census, the Kingdom’s population has reached nearly 20 million. This means the population doubled during the last 15 years. “If the population grows at this rate, it would become one of the major obstacles that hinder the country’s economic growth,” Al-Bouainain said.

He said the Saudi economy is largely dependent on state revenues and not on population. The spending on education takes 25 percent of the general budget and 85 percent of this allocation goes to salaries for teachers and only 15 percent is set aside for development projects in the sector.

Mohammed Al-Senaidy, a consultant for maternity and children in Khamis Mushayt, urged the media to take up the issue of birth control. He noted the craze of some Saudi women to have more children, even when they suffer from various complications.

Sabah Zahar, a sociologist at Saudi-German Hospital, stressed the importance of birth control for reducing family expenditure. “It should become a culture of families and it is a good option for working women,” she said.

Awad Al-Qarni, a religious thinker, said Islam has approved birth control in certain situations. “Scholars should give their opinion on it,” he said.

 
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