Cuba to Women: Please Have More Babies
The Cuban government is encouraging women to have babies and turn around
its falling birth rate, which is now the lowest in Latin America.
Authorities announced this week they will soon be unveiling financial
incentives for couples who are thinking of starting a family. The
government has already expanded maternity, and in some cases paternity
leave, to a full year with pay. In addition, Cuba has opened dozens of
special centers for infertile couples and special maternity units where
women can live full time during high-risk pregnancies.
“We’ve been evaluating this low birth rate for years,” said Roberto
Alvarez Fumero, chief of the maternity and child health unit at Cuba’s
Ministry of Health. “Now we’re taking action to improve sexual and
reproductive health, which can help drive up the country’s birth rate.”
The average Cuban woman had nearly five children in the 1960s but the
birth rate has fallen to less than two children since the late 1970s.
Due to decades of fewer births, the number of working-age people in Cuba
is expected to shrink starting next year, which is bad news for an
island trying to improve its economy.
In socialist Cuba, the decades-long falling birthrate is attributed to
several things, including more women in the workforce, wider access to
contraception and abortion, a tough economy, housing shortages and high
levels of emigration among young people.
Source: Cuba to Women: Please Have More Babies – NBC News.com –