The framing of social problems
Week 10 is a continuation of Week 9's discussion on family as newborns and the elderly are both members of a family. While the two population-related issues are real issues, they can be framed according to the government’s interests. A low fertility rate can be argued either as a positive or a negative trend. A high fertility rate can be argued as a non-issue, as in the case of the Philippines. On the other hand, many poorer countries see fertility rates as a burden as governments in these countries struggle to feed their population. Ageing can also be framed either as a social problem (i.e. economic liability) or an economic asset where older people’s experiences are valued. There have been suggestions to replace the stigma of ageing as an economic liability with the concept of "successful ageing", which in itself represents another kind of stigma.
CNN's Anna Coren reports on efforts to control the birth rate in the Philippines
Fears of overfishing lead to birth control efforts in villages around the Philippines. This PBS documentary reports on the view of people who have been facing immediate issues of having too many children.
In the next 30 years the population of the Philippines is set to double to 170 million. Contraceptives are frowned on and abortion is illegal but as Sharmeen Obaid-Chinay reveals, every year more than half a million Filipina women are so desperate they undergo harrowing illegal abortions, despite the fact that at least 80,000 end up seriously ill in hospital.
In the Philippines, access to contraceptives is largely out of the reach of the poor. A "reproductive health bill" in the legislature that calls for public education on birth control and government subsidies to make it available to everyone has the support of 70% of Filipinos, polls show. But the measure has been blocked for years amid vehement opposition by the Roman Catholic Church.
Watch it here!