Birth incentives for Indian girls

Posted: 14 March 2005

In a controversial effort to reverse the dramatic drop in the number of girl babies, as compared to boys, the south Indian state of Andrha Pradesh plans to provide financial incentives to couples who have a single female child.

In an effort to prevent sex-selective abortions, the provincial government will provide $2,300 in insurance payable to single female children of Indian couples in the province who undergo sterilisation. The payment will be awarded to girls on their 20th birthdays. The government will also provide a one-time payment of $700 for every girl who reaches the age of 18.

In addition, the government will provide a monthly scholarship of $29 for girls in grades nine to 12 and a one-off payment of up to $1,167 in the event of either of the girl's parents dying.

The provincial government has also announced a "major publicity campaign" to promote female children featuring local Andhra Pradesh tennis player Sania Mirza. She will appear on billboards with the slogan, "Your daughter may be the next champion."

India has one of the greatest gender imbalances worldwide, with approximately 927 female infants born for every 1,000 male infants. Approximately 943 female infants are born for every 1,000 male infants in Andhra Pradesh.

A similar problem occurs in China where, according to estimates in 2002, 117 boys are born for every 100 girls.

Source: IPPF News/Kaiser Network, 11th March,2005

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