Gender selective abortion is not a surprising thing for many societies, even though it’s already the 21st century. But the main victims of gender selective abortions are girls, not boys. Why is it so? What are the consequences of that? Let’s discover together!
Have you ever hit upon an expression such as “missing women”? This idea was suggested by an Indian economist and philosopher Amartya Sen. It is all about girls who were not born because of gender selective abortion.
The issue is of huge concern, indeed. Even today in Middle Eastern and Asian countries it’s a quite common experience. So let’s throw light upon the problem to understands it to the core and discover the regions where gender-selective abortion is either legal or illegal in terms of civil rights.
Gender Selective Abortion Rates: Girls vs Boys
UN estimates that almost 100 million girls “miss” over boys. How come that they were dropped out of sight? Actually, this question has many answers. This happened not because baby girls were stillborn or something terrible happened during pregnancy.
Most girls do not come to life just because the society itself doesn’t want them to. This is how gender selective abortion is supported by people.
The traditional liking for boys, especially in Asian or Middle Eastern countries, made this issue more warring. So, let’s have a closer look at figures.
More about Gender Selective Abortion Numbers
Though nature surrounding us is all about balance and harmony, there is no exact evenness. So, it shouldn’t be surprising that normally there are more male births. This happens regardless any tradition, legal act or law.
However, figures take a sharper turn when all these factors intervene into the natural course.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the natural ratio at birth is 105 boys for every 100 girls born. That is to say, 51% of all births result in male babies. 1 % will definitely seem of no major difference.
Anyway, it matters. Since 2000 there have been 1.9 billion births. So, in keeping with this natural ratio, there should have been 47 million more boys than girls born. Instead, there were 71 million more boys than girls born because of gender-selective abortion. This means that there were 24 million gender-selective abortions since 2000.
This what various estimates reveal. However, there are reasons which instigate the issue to exist in several countries. Perhaps, cultural experience and traditions sometimes take priority over law.
“It’s not Gender Selective Abortion, We Just Prefer a Boy!”
Main Reasons Why Girls Become gender Selective Abortion Victims
Leave aside all figures, traditions, pro and against arguments and just think for a moment. What’s the role of a toddler girl in a family? First and foremost- she is a complete family member.
From the very first days of her life, she possesses the very same rights as other members. When she grows up she will be a nice helping hand, maybe cleverer and smarter at school. After all, she should gain the same love and care as her male siblings.
Anyway, there are some reasons girls are not welcomed in the family and they simply disappear because of the issue of gender selective abortion. Here are the main reasons:
- The parents, for cultural, traditional or other reasons, want to have a boy
- One should be well off to rise then marry the girl child. This is especially common in Asian, Caucasian and Middle Eastern countries, where they are supposed to give a dowry at the marriage of a daughter.
- Sons have higher-wage earning capacity
- Sons are believed to be the only heirs of parental property. They are kind of an insurance
- Boy child carries on with family line and stays with parents to look after them
Now take a deep breath and consider all these reasons, folks! Are you on the same wavelength? If you are, then just google “successful women around the world”. You will surely find something to be amazed at.
War On Girls from Cross-Cultural Perspective
United Nations’ Population Fund is deeply concerned about the gender-selective abortion. To the Fund, the issue should be discussed at a global level.
The institute makes accelerating efforts to develop programmes and policies that end all forms of discrimination, including son preference and gender-biased sex selection.
Despite advances in different societies, in several regions, it remains a legal issue.
China and One-child Policy | How Does it Affect Gender Selective Abortion
Even though China’s one-child policy phased out in 2015, the results still remain and they are kind of catastrophic. Now you’ll probably argue that the policy was an effort to stop the growing number of Chinese. Definitely, it was!
However, it led to gender selective abortions as well. Thinking of how? Look at the main reasons mentioned above. China is a country of traditions and habits. Accordingly, a boy is preferred over a girl to continue the family line.
To let the family “survive”, many parents chose to have a boy. However, there is good news as well. The urban areas of China now tend to have an equality both for a girl and boy. Anyway, gender selective abortion is still widespread in rural areas.
Gender Selective Abortion in India
Generally, the laws of India do not permit abortion. However, according to the census carried out in India in 2011, there is a huge imbalance between the number of boys and girls.
Gender-selective abortion is one of the main reasons for it. In India, innovative technologies made gender selection easier years ago, and without the regulations to control the use of such technologies, these technologies began to be misused for gender-selective abortions.
Gender Selective Abortion in Caucasus
Caucasus is known as a “male-dominated” region. And if you have ever been there you’ll probably agree. In the countries of this mountainous area patriarchal model of the family is practiced. Father has the right to the last say.
They are also responsible for family income. According to surveys, the region’s practice of gender selective abortions is similar to East Asia and South Asia. Among couples having their first child, Armenia, for instance, averages 138 boys for every 100 girls every year.
Gender Selective Abortion in The United States of America
Unfortunately, there is lack of information about the birth ratio in the US.
However, according to Gallup poll held in 2011 only 28% of the ones being questioned said they would love to have a girl.
Consequences of Gender -Selective Abortion
The results of son preference, the low value of girls and gender-selective abortion are wide. Actually, gender-selective abortion has devastating consequences.
The word choice might seem very strong however it is quite to the point. So, social consequences come first. In China and India, for instance, men who would like to get married may not find a partner just because of a small number of women.
Instances of increased sexual violence and human trafficking are linked to this situation as well. And there has already been an increase in “cross-border brides” – women and girls migrating or being trafficked, into areas where there are fewer women than men.
These women are unable to speak the native tongue. Besides, they may fall under intense pressure to give birth to male children only.
How to Stop Gender Selective Abortions?
There are many for and against arguments about abortion in general. Some people think abortion should be considered legal, as there are many reasons parents would love to have it.
However, there is no doubt that gender selective abortion, in particular, is a violation of human rights. It should definitely be stopped.
There are countries that have outlawed or restricted the use of modern technologies to identify the gender of a child. Though such prohibitions and legal activities are sometimes difficult to enforce, they are one of those steps to stop gender-selective abortion.
Another way to tackle the root of this issue is women empowerment. Being aware of their roles and contribution, empowered women can make the world a better place. Besides, such women and girls contribute to the health and productivity of families and communities and improve prospects for future generations.
Access to education also plays a key role. Moreover, the laws that permit daughters to inherit property, for example, signal that men and women are equal. “One daughter is equal to 10 sons,” motto created by South Korean government comes to prove that even old-rooted traditions can be changed.
BTW, South Korea is a patriarchal country as well which tries to tackle this problem in a political level. Besides, gender-selective abortion is a centuries-old issue in South Korea. Their efforts led to demographical changes. Now the country has rebalanced its birth results. This is really great. Other countries would rather follow their example.
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