Indonesia finds new family planning incentives for men

Global Business

Experts call it a crisis: Overpopulation is fast affecting Indonesia’s economic growth.

The country is currently the world’s fourth most populated nation, just behind India and the United States.

In Yogyakarta, Central Java, the local government is offering men $80 to persuade them to get vasectomies. It’s part of a family planning program aimed at curbing high birth rates in the city.

CGTN’s Silkina Ahluwalia reports.

“Since we included the incentive, more men have been willing to learn about birth control. Our program aims to educate men that contraceptives aren’t only for women. Vasectomies take less time and it is much more practical for couples in the long run, ” Eny Rosmawati,The head of one family planning agency explains said.

In a country where 90 percent of its population are Muslims, it’s not easy to convince Indonesian men to participate in any form of family planning.

Local resident Agus, believes contraceptives, in general, goes against the teachings of his religion. “The Quran says having many children brings good luck to the family. Muslims should all obey the teachings of Allah. I believe our fate has been written. I wouldn’t want to change what Allah has planned for me. ”

The Yogyakarta administration recently partnered with one of the country’s largest Islamic organizations to convince men like Agus that contraceptives are, in fact, allowed in Islam.

“The Indonesia Ulema Council issued a religious ruling stating that birth control is halal. Our program should not be misunderstood by those who are religious,” Rosmawati added.

Strong family planning programs are crucial for developing nations like Indonesia. The country is already battling other issues like food security, poverty and pollution. Overpopulation would further increase those problems.

The Indonesian government is now focusing on strengthening their existing programs and implementing more policies, in hopes to keep the country’s population growth at a steady rate.

Aaron Hamlin talks about the lackluster male contraceptive industry

Aaron Hamlin, executive director at the Male Contraception Initiative spoke to CGTN’s Rachelle Akuffo about the lack of investment in the male contraceptive industry and what is being done to address the issue.