Speed Reads

Bad Ideas

Amid economic crisis, Venezuela's president tells women to have 6 kids each for 'the good of the country'

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro outraged women's rights advocates and opposition leaders when he announced during a televised event that women must "give birth" for "the good of the country."

Venezuela is experiencing high inflation and shortages of food, medicine, and other necessities, but that didn't stop Maduro from declaring on Tuesday night, "Every woman is to have six children! Every one!" He made his remarks while discussing the government's new women's health care plan, but Maduro has not released any concrete details about it, and a Venezuelan health expert told The Guardian the plan might not even exist.

UNICEF estimates that 13 percent of children in Venezuela are suffering from malnutrition, and the latest government data, released in 2017, revealed a 30 percent increase in infant mortality. Nearly five million Venezuelans have fled the country, looking for opportunities elsewhere.

Manuela Bolivar, an opposition politician, tweeted in response to Maduro that Venezuela's "hospitals are not functioning, vaccines are scarce, women cannot breastfeed because they are malnourished or buy baby formula because it is unaffordable, and the country faces forced migration due to the humanitarian emergency."