India Will Pay Families for Daughters

Incentives for raising girls aim to correct skewed sex ratio
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 4, 2008 2:10 PM CST

(Newser) – India will start handing out cash to families in return for raising daughters, reports AFP. The culture's preference for sons results in sex-selection abortions, which are illegal but have skewed the country's sex ratio. Poor families with girls in states with the worst sex ratios will receive a series of payments, with a bonus should the child reach 18 unmarried and having finished her education.

"This will force the families to look upon the girl as an asset rather than a liability," said the government minister overseeing the initiative. India has 927 females per 1,000 males, drastically below the world average of 1,050 females. Some families see daughters as a financial liability because they must supply a dowry when the girls marry. As a result, the illegal aborting of female fetuses has become a robust industry.