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

10/24/2014 Thousands of Women in Iran Protest Acid Attacks in Wake of Religious Law - On Wednesday, thousands of Iranians in the historic city of Isfahan gathered to protest recent acid attacks on women. . . .
 
10/24/2014 Potential Ballot Measure in DC Would Raise Minimum Wage to $15 - Low-wage workers in Washington, DC might see a significant increase in their pay, thanks to national labor rights group Restaurant Opportunities Center United (ROC). This month, the DC Board of Elections approved language submitted by a local chapter of ROC to raise the minimum wage in the District to $15/hour by 2019. . . .
 
10/23/2014 All of Tennessee's Major Newspapers Have Urged Voters to Reject Anti-Abortion Amendment 1 - All four of Tennessee's major papers have spoken out to oppose Amendment 1, a dangerous anti-abortion measure that will be decided by voters this fall. . . .