More Power to Women, Fewer Mouths to Feed

The U.N. conference reaches consensus: gender equality is a key to curbing population growth

Sohad Ahmad, an impoverished Egyptian farmer's wife, knew nothing about the huge United Nations population conference going on 50 miles to the north, in Cairo. For her, family planning was not a global issue but a personal, practical matter. Getting a checkup last week at a health clinic in the rural town of Sinnuris, Ahmad laughed when a nurse asked if she was pregnant. "No," she replied, "we know pregnancy is an evil now." She and her husband, Sohad explained, had decided to stop after two children because of the expense of raising a large family. Ahmad's 20-year-old daughter Nadia also...

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