Showdown in Cairo

A feminist agenda at next week's population conference stirs protests

The United Nations could hardly have picked a more appropriate place for next week's International Conference on Population and Development than crowded, chaotic Cairo. Home to 14 million people, the Egyptian capital shows all too clearly the consequences of the inexorable human drive to have children. Cairo's open space per capita must be measured in square inches, and the poorest citizens build shelters on rooftops, in cemeteries and in the city dump. Cramped conditions are nothing new, of course, but even old-timers lament that population pressures are making Egyptians "bestial" to one another.

Cairo is also buffeted by all the political,...

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