Of course, there are very old-time cultural and tribal practices, that hold Africans back, from accepting contraceptives. I, also, think education in this area is obviously needed, and that it would take a long time for Africa to decrease it's birth rate. That being said, the Catholic Church plays a huge role in Africa--also in many states where homosexually is illegal, and they kill anyone who admits to or is suspected of being a homosexual--and places like South America. Honestly, to say it wouldn't help, if the Church said contraceptives were allowed, is bind-blowing dumb.
In places like India/the Middle East, we have huge women's rights violations (or a complete lack of them): Women are expected to marry whom they do not wish, and are, therefore, raped in non-consensual sex. Woman are, also, treated as the scum of the Earth--largely due to religious and cultural beliefs in the area (Muslim/Hindu/whatever).
Of course, traditions and cultural practices cannot be wiped out in a day, but my point is: With education, these issues can be sharply subverted. With religion in the way, of course, we have an almost impossible job on our hands, as, with the inclusion of a supreme deity, we have God to fight, too. That is my point: God makes otherwise intelligent practices often impossible. We all know contraception and women's rights (right of marriage/birth rights/abortion/etc.) are the only way, to lower the birth rate of the world, and decrease poverty, ergo, sharply. Why is this being argued? I find it a bit sickening, that so many of you are calling me dumb on this point.