Indonesia's Lessons

During a 30-year push on family planning, Indonesia cut its fertility rate by more than half—to 2.37 births per woman in 2012—and helped slash maternal mortality rates.

But in some regions, progress is slowing, or even reversing, as Indonesia’s family planning policy is encountering pushback. Political decentralization reshuffled priorities, and religious conservatives are challenging family size limits.

“The conservative wave you see in Indonesia is something we’ve seen many places before; in Africa right now the Evangelicals are pushing back on us,” says Babatunde Osotimehin, executive director of UNFPA. “But we are pushing back with the evidence that family planning is one of the best development tools a country can utilize.”

The Christian Science Monitor

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