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Gender in Azerbaijan: Boys without girls

7 January 2016 10:00 (UTC+04:00)
Gender in Azerbaijan: Boys without girls

By Amina Nazarli

Despite the global population hits seven billion, experts predict the world an acute shortage of women.

An "alarming demographic masculinisation" trend in some countries indicate that the birth rate of female infanticide decreases every year.

Many demographers believe the resulting shortage of adult women over the next 50 years will have as deep and pervasive an impact as climate change, according to the Phys.org internet news portal.

The trend seems also to hit Azerbaijan, as Deputy Minister of Labor and Social Protection Idris Isayev said that number of boys has increased in Azerbaijan since the early 1990s and today the country sees 117 boys born for every 100 girls.

He said from 171,000 babies born in 2014, some 46.4 percent were girls and 53.6 percent made up boys.

Today, Azerbaijan has no problem with demography, since for the last five years the country recorded an increase in the number of population by 172,000 people. However, boys born in the last couple of years may face a "girl" problem in future.

The disappointing statistics gave to birth to media reports about rewarding parents up to 10,000 manats (about $6,400) for a second daughter. The news was greeted with applause, whilst later became nothing more than rumors.

Department Head at the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection of Population Elman Babayev said that It's too premature to speak about this type of "encouragement."

“None state agency said about 10,000 manats and I have no idea about the source of such media reports. Indeed, there are several options and one of them is “encouragement.” But it’s too early to speak about this option,” he said.

Anyway, the issue remain topical, making the government stimulate the growth of the female population, by revising abortion policy and carrying out activities on the application of intensive gender education programs.

Economist Vugar Bayramov told AzerNews that the number of abortion in the country has increased, according to some investigations. “Azerbaijani families are more interested in boy babies, since they consider boys as assistance ground to the family in economic terms in the future,” he said.

He believes that this disbalance may lead to serious economic and demography problems.

Decrease in the number of girl babies would have negative effect for economy, the economist says, as the labor market can experience a lack of female power in the future.

Talking about the amount of the money compensation, Bayramov noted that rewarding is not allocated for the maintenance of a child, but as a stimulating measure.

While many believe that these measures can “adjust the imbalance” in the country, others think that “rewarding” can give a negative effect.

Azerbaijani MP Aydin Mirzazade feared that some families may abuse the law, killing baby boys in pursuit of “rewarding.”

“This time, it may create to the male shortage after 10 years. This, in turn, may lead to unmarried women, missing soldiers, uncreated families and unborn children. That’s why it’s necessary to pay attention to enlightenment work in public instead of “encouraging” for the second daughter,” he said.

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Amina Nazarli is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @amina_nazarli

Follow us on Twitter @AzerNewsAz

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