President Arif Alvi wants Pakistanis to talk about family planning and we’re here for it

President Arif Alvi wants Pakistanis to talk about family planning and we’re here for it

He posted a powerful video on Twitter that urged people to destigmatise talking about family planning and reproduction.
Updated 14 Sep, 2021

President Arif Alvi recently shared a video on Twitter that got a lot of people talking. The video is about family planning and reproduction and urged people to destigmatise these topics for a healthier Pakistan.

"National health has a very deep connection to mother and child health. We should be giving priority to things that are important. Practice family planning for prosperity. Keep a check on the number of children. Make good health a reality. Don’t ignore this topic. Discuss it and spread the message. The informational video covers a range of social issues represented by different characters of the working class who are discouraged and disregarded for their efforts due to the associated stigma around the aforementioned topic of family planning and the wellbeing of individuals involved in the process," he wrote in Urdu.

This isn't the first time President Alvi has spoken about the importance of family planning. In June, he said there is a need to educate people about family planning and monitoring the growing population in the country.

The informational video he shared covers a range of social issues represented by different characters who are discouraged and disregarded for their efforts due to the associated stigma around the topic of family planning and the wellbeing of individuals involved in the process. It illustrates how people often bury their heads in the sand when it comes to conversations about family planning or reproduction. The brown paper bags or khaki lifafey used in the video convey people's embarrassment and shame when it comes to talking about this very important issue.

The video's tagline is "Soch ko khaki lifafey se azaad karo, baat karo [liberate your thoughts from the brown paper bag, talk about it."

There is also a constant reiteration for everyone to be equally present in the discussion whether it is a young girl trying to ask her teacher a question during anatomy class or a wife trying to introduce family planning alternatives to her husband.

There was a lot of support for the initiative and the president's words on Twitter. People hope it will finally ignite a much-needed conversation regarding an issue that is often brushed aside in shame and embarrassment.

Many users said it is important to share this campaign on other popular media platforms besides Twitter as well.

We're so glad to see the president using his platform to spread information and awareness about a very important cause. In Pakistan, people often turn the other way when it comes to talking about reproduction and family planning. Most young women in Pakistan are familiar with brown paper bags — we're often told to hide our period products in them, as if they're shameful. But there is no shame in talking about reproduction and health and, as the video says, we need to get rid of the figurative brown paper bags when it comes to important discussions.

The president's support for this campaign comes in the lead up to World Contraception Day on September 26 and despite his message having its fair share of detractors, we hope it starts a conversation among the people who need it most.


Chrís Dăn Sep 14, 2021 11:47am
I am glad to see that after Ayub Khan with a gap of more than 5 decades,some top-leader has kept his vested interest behind& has dared to speak seriously about the root cause of our economic ills combined with moral& social ills which are inevitable as parents busy in re-productioncan't care for quality breeding. If Pakistan had managed its population during last 30 years couldn't be not so poor& with so much illiteracy. Time to realize it. Time to open centres in each village,town,mohallas, supplying free contraceptives for men and women. Time to talk about it on media.
Ahmad Sep 14, 2021 12:27pm
The only time something sensible from him.
Saeed Ahmed Khan Sep 14, 2021 12:41pm
The population density has reached 353 persons per square kilometer in Punjab-more than twice as compared to the national figure of 164. And two rivers already sold to India, water future is bleak. it is only rational stop multiplying like rabbits and fight over water and other resources. Punjab, therefore, must adopt ZPG. The earlier the better - in the better interest of national harmony and basic human dignity. After all, two well educated, productive persons are more of an asset than seven illiterate/semiliterate liabilities.
M. Saeed Sep 14, 2021 12:47pm
The concept of Family Planning has failed in Pakistan. Combined Population of two wings of Pakistan in 1947 was, 75 million, which now exploded to 390 million of Pakistan and Bangladesh. We must change the name of FP to a better acceptable and device a passive approach which should be well accepted even by the opponent.
Dr Jamil Ahmed Sep 14, 2021 12:50pm
Unfortunately family planning is not an awareness problem as being implied by the president. It is more of meeting the huge unmet need of the families to use birth spacing commodities through a respectable provider. Sadly most of the districts face huge stock-outs of these essential commodities leading to unplanned pregnancies, and complications during labor in women with repeated pregnancies with short intervals. More action in terms of providing essential birth spacing services is required.
FAZ Sep 14, 2021 12:50pm
Some cheap advertising will be done. That's what happens in this country. Either its very hush hush taboo or is made fun of.
Wolf Sep 14, 2021 01:17pm
Long over due issue that has fed into our current economic woes - it is never too late. What BHUTTO started and it is time to fully rollout the campaign and put breaks on unbridled population growth.
Naveed Sep 14, 2021 01:18pm
There is no need to discuss this already discussed topic again. The government presented its point of view and the people disagreed. There is no room for discussion left.
Mahmood Anwar Sep 14, 2021 04:09pm
Thank you. Please learn from Muslim majority nations like Bangladesh, Iran, Morocco who have been extremely successful in last 30 years and now reaping benefits in better economy, health & education. Pakistan can do it too but not without intense government & public awareness and support. Applies equally to both genders.
wolf Sep 14, 2021 04:10pm
@Saeed Ahmed Khan Sir forget about resources; even you have resources to feed high growth population - what about environmental degradation that excess resource exploitation will cause to Earth? Basically point is that earth cannot put up with land fills and other air quality polluting elements we introduce to air in order to feed growing population. We should also quantify father and mother time to foster kids as quality and scarce resource - less children mean more foster time per child which means nation will end up with quality human resource.
Tadka Sep 14, 2021 05:28pm
seems an educated and modern leader
SachBol Sep 14, 2021 05:35pm
In the past, only time this was discussed in national media was during PM Junejo’s time. This should be highest priority issue for Pakistan. Not sure why it took so long for someone at the top to bring it again in national forum. Pakistan need concrete steps not just mere words on this national issue.
Ss Sep 14, 2021 06:12pm
Education is the solution to many ills in society like population, backwardness, health and others. I wish leaders talk about a plan to get all Pakistanis to be educated… that has the main issue in Pakistan.
Beth Ali Jaffar Zaidi Sep 14, 2021 08:30pm
@Chrís Dăn NOT TRUE AT ALL !!!!!!!!
Sid C Sep 14, 2021 08:31pm
I dislike PTI . But if they continue and emphasize about family planning. My vote for PTI.
Huhhh Sep 14, 2021 09:12pm
China is likely to follow the lead.
SidC Sep 15, 2021 02:21am
@Chrís Dăn you sum it up . Root cause of our misery
Patel D Sep 15, 2021 03:11am
Yes. Start talking about family planning. and keep talking. What out for votes before implementing.
Anjum Pervez Sep 15, 2021 05:49am
About time....if it's already not too late!
Anjum Pervez Sep 15, 2021 05:51am
@M. Saeed strange. What term can be milder than family planning?
Anjum Pervez Sep 15, 2021 05:53am
@Dr Jamil Ahmed wrong. It's not shortage of any product. It's sheer illiteracy and lack of any other entertainment.
Anjum Pervez Sep 15, 2021 05:56am
@Sid C exactly. The issue is that important.
M.N.Baig Sep 15, 2021 08:18am
Population explosion is the biggests that mankind is facing in the third world countries. Every year new mouth to feed, and this is eating away the national productivity. The average family size in the west is below 2.0, in China it is 1, whereas in Pakistan, India and Bangladesh it is between 5-6. Large family size in these third world countries is a road to ruins and misery. Limit the family size and live happily. Future generations will thank you.
Tenjee Sep 15, 2021 12:04pm
@M.N.Baig Meanwhile in countries where populationis declining they see the flipside with no one to look after the old, breakdown of family structures. Some European countries now incentivises women to have more children. Populationand birth control are areas where we see the Law of Unintended Consequences reap havoc. Birth control has been a cornerstone of an ideological battle waged by social engineers. It is about releasing people from the home and enslaving them to work and consumerism.