Saturday, May 03, 2008

Conference in India: Save the Girl Child

Last week, India's Ministry of Health and Family Welfare convened a national conference to "Save the Girl Child." Among the topics addressed at the conference were equal educational opportunities for girls and boys, promoting the physical and mental health of girls, and curbing the practice of sex-selective abortion (which is illegal in India, but practiced by some in order to abort female fetuses).

On the topic of promoting educational opportunities for girls, the conference organizers discussed a new government program, Dhan Laxmi, that aims to pay families who fulfill certain benchmarks for their daughters -- including getting the recommended course of childhood immunizations, completing a high school education and holding off on marriage until at least the age of 18.