An Italian fertility campaign encouraging women to get pregnant has come under fire for making sexist claims. Most Italians are outraged by the way the Italian state is telling them what to do. Critics say the message was conveyed in an uncreative way.
The campaign features a woman holding an hour-glass and the punchline is “Beauty knows no age. Fertility does.” For men, the message was “Don’t let your sperm go up in smoke.” The news has sparked a national outrage across Italy and has gone viral.
The Health minister Beatrice Lorenzin and the Italian government noticed that the country desperately needs more children, to support its pension and welfare systems. The current rate of births is not going to be able to replace the population. As there are more people dying than being born, this eventually leads to a loss of population. This is obvious in almost all industrial states and even in some developing nations. Italy has a fertility rate of 1.3 children. This is even below the European average of 1.6.
However, other countries found more creative ways to encourage citizens to procreate more. Scandinavian countries have come up with campaigns that resonated with citizens, in spite of being deemed “bizarre” by some.
Denmark is far behind in fertility rates. So authorities have devised sex-education classes where they explain pregnancy to children and advocate the benefits of pregnancy.
There is also a campaign called “Do it for Denmark” where Danes who conceive children receive 3 years’ worth of diapers and free vacations abroad.
Currently, some 16 percent of Danes can’t have kids, as they are too old to conceive.
In France, children below a certain age receive a monthly allowance and can get everywhere for free. This includes getting free vacations.
As they grow into adolescence, they can apply for subsidies to afford student housing.
To some, the Italian campaign brings to mind the fascist slogans of the 30’s. The widespread critic, ranging from national papers to the public opinion has convinced the government to withdraw the campaign was withdrawn just days after being launched.
Italy is facing an unemployment rate of around 35 percent. Other reasons cited for Italians choosing not to conceive are that kids nowadays are expensive, they don’t have a lot of perspectives as demographics continue to decline.
Germany has found a way of boosting its population decline with refugees. However, that is highly debated and cannot be a long-term solution.
Image Source – Public Domain Pictures