Date

12-2010

Degree Name

BS in Social Sciences

Department

Social Sciences Department

Advisor(s)

William Preston

Abstract

Half of the world lives on less than $2 a day. Everywhere men, women and children live in extreme poverty and suffer. Anthropogenic climate change has intensified famines, droughts, floods, hurricanes and other natural disasters. Modern civilization has altered nature and nature has responded to these alterations. Every year approximately 80 million people are added to the
planet, increasing pressure on the land. These added numbers of people require increased food and land resources and produce more pollution. While populations grow, arable lands with high yields do not. It is essential to reduce global consumption of all commodities and reduce pollution. However, if efforts are not made to curtail population growth, a reduction in consumption and pollution will only go so far. Luckily, change is possible and concrete efforts can be made to grow at a sustainable rate and even lower overall populations.

The poorest countries on earth are also those with the highest fertility rates. The majority of people living in extreme poverty have not had basic family planning. Women are underprivileged and often don’t understand their own reproductive health. The goal of this paper is to explore the role of women in governing a healthy demography by focusing on the power of education. This paper will discuss the demographic transition in order to explain the stark
differences in total fertility rates worldwide. Then it will concentrate on the role of women in developing societies and examine the influence of education on lowering the total fertility rate. This issue will be tackled through peer-reviewed articles, case studies, and excerpts from textbooks. I hope to show that although there are billions of suffering humans, we can collectively improve the human condition and lower human impact on the earth.