Saturday, 25 October 2008

Risk of paying families to have girls

In a previous article, I described a situation in India where daughters are perceived as harmful due to the need to pay a dowry when daughters marry. This has led to abortion of female foetuses on a massive scale which, in turn, has led the governement to pay poor families to give birth to and bring up female children. Daughters are now perceived as useful as they bring income. This could have terrible consequences.

One way this attempt to right the situation could go horribly wrong has been described in this model by Anders Jangbrand:

If having a daughter leads to money from the government, plus a bonus when leaving school, this could in turn lead to an expectation of higher dowries. Furthermore, this could lead to use of girls for cheap child labour, re-enforcing still further the perception that girls are less valuable than boys.

No comments: