The Role of Mass Communication in Egyptian Family Planning Policy

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At least three important facts have dominated Egyptian demographic studies over the last 50 years. First, there has been a consistently high birth rate, with the population doubling from 26 million thirty years ago to 57 million in 1994. Second, the population is maldistributed, both geographically and in age. Today, 99% of the people live on 3.8% of the land, and about half the population is under twenty years of age. And third, previous attempts at controlling the population have failed. However, that trend has changed significantly in recent years. In 1994 President Hosni Mubarek of Egypt received the United Nations Population Award for both his national and international leadership on population issues. Despite decades of disappointments in addressing a rising birth rate and a maldistributed population, Egypt chose a strategy of collaboration over coercion and embarked on an aggressive educational program in the early 1980s that set as its goal a model" two-child family" by 2015. One year later, in August, 1995, Egypt's National Population Council issued its report, Perspectives on Fertility and Family Planning in Egypt [1]. Consisting of eight separate studies that are based on the results of the 1992 Egypt Demographic and Health Survey, the 1995 report is the most recent and comprehensive study completed to date on Egyptian family planning policy. It reached at least three major conclusions.