A district in Indonesia is handing out cash to civil servants who volunteer for vasectomies ─ but the initiative has upset women who fear their sterilized husbands will be more likely to have affairs.
Mukomuko district on Sumatra island is offering one million rupiah ($109) to any of its 2,000 male employees who undergo the operation, in a bid to control population growth in the world’s most populous Muslim nation.
District head Ichwan Yunus told AFP on Wednesday that so far nine men had volunteered since the program was launched last week.
“We hope this cash incentive will motivate more to join,” he added.
“This is part of an effort to reduce poverty. With a small family people will be able to live much better,” Yunus said, adding that annual population growth in the district of 170,000 was a steep 1.9 percent per year.
Indonesia has a population of 240 million, which has been growing at an average 1.49 percent per year for the past decade, according to the country’s central statistics agency.
Yunus said that wives ─ worried that their sterilized husbands would more readily engage in extra-marital affairs as they would not have to worry about contraception ─ were one of the challenges of the vasectomy scheme.
“In many cases there is opposition from wives, who are worried that husbands won't have to think twice about engaging in love affairs,” Yunus said.
“We are carrying out a media campaign to encourage more volunteers,” he said. “We may double or triple the cash if it doesn't attract many participants”.