|Kat De Guzman |||May 30, 2016 01:19 PM EDT|
(Photo : John Moore/Getty Images) Condoms are shown to a group of women during a safe sex education class on April 24, in Sawabi in the conservative Muslim Pashtun belt of western Pakistan.
Pakistan's media regulator has announced a ban on all advertisements related to condoms and contraceptives in general on prime time television as well as radio. Authorities feel that the promotion of these products incites curiosity among children.
Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) imposed the ban on all advertisements on satellite TV channels or FM Radios related to contraceptives, birth control, and family planning products. PEMRA said the reason for the ban is that the general public is "very much concerned" about the exposure of such products to children.
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Children are said to be getting inquisitive on the features and use of such products, forcing parents to call for the ban.
This comes as a surprise as Pakistan is the world's sixth largest country in terms of population - 193 million people. According to the United Nations, the country's population will grow to 244 million by 2030 given its current growth rate. The Pakistani government said that the use of contraceptives in the country fell by 7.2 percent last year.
Aside from population growth, another concern that experts have highlighted in response to Pakistan's decision to ban the advertisement of condoms is the spread of sexually transmitted diseases. In 2015, around 94,00 people contracted HIV and 2,800 died of the virus.
The ban has sparked a debate. PEMRA revealed on Twitter that a final decision will be made later. While the ban has not been out in force, there are directives that advertisements for condoms and contraceptives should not be aired during primetime television or the time that children are watching.
Also, advertisements will be scrutinuzed to assess whether the use of language and visuals conforms with the nation's cultural values.
It remains unclear whether the Pakistani government's efforts to disseminate information about family planning (such as running campaigns to educate citizens on the benefits of various forms of birth control) will be affected after the ban is finalized.
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