There aren't enough babies in Iran, so the government is swapping sponsored vasectomies for golden newborns. That's an exaggeration; but the government is thinking about giving families gold coins for their new babies to encourage an uptick in births. After producing condoms like candy in 1992, the country's population growth has dwindled significantly and if this trend continues, it may sink to zero in twenty years.
The Iranian government has already extended maternity leave to nine months and given men two weeks in paternity leave. But some think baiting people with shiny things in exchange for changing dirty diapers won't work.
"A gold coin won't change couples' calculations," said Mohammad Jalal Abbasi, head of Demographics Department at Tehran University. "Many young Iranians prefer to continue their studies, not marry. Lack of financial ability to buy a house and meet expenses are among other reasons why the youth postpone marriage or have no interest in raising many children."
So is this population decline the result of Iran's women all deciding to lean in, or is it really due to societal problems?
Others point to Iran's economy, battered by Western sanctions over its contested nuclear program. Inflation stands at 36 percent, President Hassan Rouhani recently said. Unemployment officially stands at 12 percent, though some private experts suggest nearly one in three working-age Iranians is out of work.
If people can't pay their bills now, maybe they don't want to welcome a new mouth to feed.
Image via Rose Carson/Shutterstock.