IRAN: TAKING AIM AT LOW FERTILITY AND WOMEN'S MOBILITY
By Richard Cincotta, Demographer for Stimson and Woodrow Wilson centers
Reviewed by Michael Hornblow
One recent, noteworthy development in Iran has been the government's decision to eliminate family planning services from its budget. In this article Richard Cincotta of the Stimson Center discusses what he calls "the two rudder approach." One rudder or model strives for the perpetual Islamic State, while the other model, the Developmental State, seeks to mold Iran into a modern, economically competitive, and technologically sophisticated regional power.
The Islamic Model held sway in the early days of the Khomeini regime when the fertility rate, according to UN estimates, averaged over 6 children per woman. By the late 1980's with the end of the Iran-Iraq war and a new emphasis on economic growth, the government's policy shifted and encouraged smaller families. The fertility rate dropped quickly to its current 1.9 births per woman. Farzaneh Roudi, who studies this subject for the Wilson Center, points out that it took European countries 300 years to experience a similar decline. A good article on this subject by Roudi may be found at http://www.wilsoncenter.org/sites/default/files/iran_is_reversing_its_population_policy.pdf
The Iranian government under Khomeini also...