Responsible Futures Matter
Edited by Moazzem Hossain, Tapan Sarker and Malcolm McIntosh
Chapter 2: Population, poverty and responsible social protection issues of Asia
The last three decades are characterized by phenomenal growth in South east and East Asian nations. In contrast, South Asia performed moderately over this period. In this chapter an attempt has been made to capture the overall performance of the populous and emerging three regions of Asia from the viewpoint of reducing absolute poverty in prosperous times. More specifically, a comparative analysis of Southeast Asia (including China in the East) and South Asia has been carried out in terms of population growth such as demographic conditions and trends, population distribution, women’s participation in the labour force, and demographic challenges since 1990. This analysis contributes partly to answer the frequently asked questions in the literature: Why have the Southeast and East Asian nations done so much better than the countries in South Asia? Is population growth a deterrent to reducing poverty? How can responsible social protection be established for the downtrodden? This chapter thus focuses on the performance of three regions of Asia (10 nations) in population explosion terms and analyses how far the poverty reduction goals of the Millennium Declaration will be achieved by 2015. The final objective is to examine how to construct responsible social protection measures for the poor, using the case of India.
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