Monday, July 11, 2011

World Population Day -- July 11, 2011

My first job after college was at the Population Institute as a secretary. It was the summer of 1975. I remember writing a piece about how the world population had just hit 2 or maybe 3 billion.

In July 1987, the first World Population Day was celebrated -- the world's population was 5 billion.

Today, the world's population is 6,948,317,241.

It's expected to hit 7 billion on October 31, 2011.

It's hard to grasp that it has more than doubled since I began my working life in the sexual and reproductive health field.

Our understanding of population growth and the needs of the world's environment have grown exponentially since 1975. But some basic facts are still true: too many of the world's women don't have the contraceptive services they need and want to control the number of children they want to have. Too many women are denied basic civil rights, including the right to education and equal employment. The developed world still consumes far too many of the world's resources. The earth has limited ability to sustain uncontrolled population.

Genesis calls us to be stewards of the earth. There's still time for us to do more.

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