The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) has announced the ban on advertisements for contraceptive products on television and radio in Pakistan.

Authorities have said the ban was placed because such adverts expose inquisitive children to the subject of sex.

The ban which covers all contraceptive, birth control and family planning products was said to be in response to complaints from parents.

In a statement it was said that the: “The general public is very much concerned about the exposure of such products to the innocent children, which get inquisitive on features and use of the products.”

This ban comes amidst government initiative to encourage birth control in Pakistan. Being the sixth most populous country in the world, the Pakistan government is very interested in reducing population growth.

“Reduction in population growth is one of the top priorities of the government of Pakistan to maintain balance between country’s resources and population,” said the government’s annual report on contraceptive use.

Though no specific punishment was mentioned, they said in their statement that television channels and radio stations that do not comply with the ban would face legal action under PEMRA laws.

This ban has caused a division in Pakistan, between socially liberal and conservatives in the country as it is not the first time the regulatory authority has banned contraceptive adverts on television.

Last year, they banned a condom ad after receiving complaints, calling it “immoral” and contrary to religious norms.

Pakistan is a conservative Muslim country of 190 million people where talking about sex in public is a taboo.

Advertisements for condoms and other forms of birth control are rare in Pakistan.

Author: Ope Adedeji