Ms. magazine  -- more than a magazine a movement

SIGN UP FOR MS. DIGEST, JOBS, NEWS AND ALERTS

FEMINIST WIRE NEWSBRIEFS

ABOUT
SEE CURRENT ISSUE
SHOP MS. STORE
MS. IN THE CLASSROOM
FEMINIST DAILY WIRE
FEMINIST RESOURCES
PRESS
JOBS AT MS.
READ BACK ISSUES
CONTACT
RSS (XML)
 
feminist wire | daily newsbriefs

August-15-02

Male Preference Continues to Grow in Asia

In India and China, where cultural beliefs remain steadfast, recent reports show that the preference for sons has dramatically widened female-male birth ratios and boosted incidents of infanticide. Despite government efforts in both countries to outlaw prenatal sex determination, ultrasound tests—typically done between the fourth and sixth months of pregnancy—are increasingly popular. At about $4 per test—with the option for a same-day abortion at $15 to $120—92 percent of couples who already have a daughter choose to abort a female fetus, according to a report by Beijing University’s Population Research Institute on one county in central China.

Other villages throughout the country show similar trends, with some regions having a gender disparity as high as 144 boys for every 100 girls. China’s national average is the worlds highest in gender disparity with 117 boys for every 100 girls. Consequently, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) attributes growing frequency of girls kidnapped in China to the shortage of females being born. By 2020, China is expected to have 29 to 33 million unwed men between the ages of 15 and 34, according to research published in International Security.

In India, a preference for male infants has led to an estimated 5 million abortions and 10,000 cases of infanticide every year, reported CNS News. Census data from the last 10 years demonstrate the declining sex ratio, dropping from 972 to 933 women per 1,000 men. The world average is 990 women to 1,000 men.

Experts agree that cultural shifts are needed to supplement new population policies. "[U]nless we change our customs and thinking patterns, the problem cannot be solved," said New Delhi physician Dr. Ashok Mittal.

UNFPA operates in over 130 countries across the globe providing maternal and child health programs, family planning programs, and programs aimed at the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases and HIV/AIDS.

TAKE ACTION Urge Bush to Restore UNFPA Funding

LEARN MORE Click here to read women's narratives about barriers or successes in accessing reproductive health and family planning services.

Media Resources: CNSNews.com 8/8/02; BBC online 8/8/02; NY Times 6/21/02; UN Wire 5/17/02; USA Today 6/19/02


© Feminist Majority Foundation, publisher of Ms. magazine

If you liked this story, consider making a tax-deductible donation to support Ms. magazine.

 

 

Send to a Friend
Their
Your
Comments
(optional)


More Feminist News

7/2/2015 President Obama Will Expand Overtime Pay to Millions of Americans - President Obama is proposing a plan this week to broaden overtime pay that is expected to affect millions of Americans in the working class, especially women. In an Op-Ed written for and published by the Huffington Post, President Obama summarized what he called a successful week for Americans. . . .
 
7/2/2015 National Portrait Gallery Honors Dolores Huerta - Feminist Majority Foundation board member and lifelong feminist activist Dolores Huerta was honored by the National Portrait Gallery last night as the first Latina person to have a featured exhibition at the museum. Huerta is an active defender of civil rights, farm workers' rights, women's rights, and immigrant rights, and has been for over five decades. . . .
 
7/1/2015 Women's Rights Activists are Suing the Kenyan Government for Reproductive Rights - A woman in Kenya is suing the Kenyan government for failure to provide safe and legal abortions, which caused her daughter - a 15-year-old rape victim - to suffer a kidney failure after undergoing the procedure illegally. Currently, there are four petitioners on the case: the mother of the survivor, the Federation of Women Lawyers-Kenya, and two other women's rights advocates. . . .