Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Putting gendercide on the front page

MercatorNet.com | Michael Cook | 11 Mar 2010

It has taken 20 years, but gendercide has finally made the front page of The Economist. Back in 1990, Nobel Prize winning economist Amartya Sen wrote an astonishing article in the New York Review of Books claiming that 100 million girls had been aborted because of son-preference. This was happening mostly in China and India, but also in other Asian countries.

Some were initially sceptical of Sen’s allegations, and countered that the gigantic gender gap could be due to a higher rate of Hepatitis B amongst infant girls. But as the figures came in, there could be no doubt. A perfect storm of malign factors has created conditions in which girls are being aborted in the millions: son-preference, families with only one or two children, readily available abortion, and portable ultrasound equipment. As a result, the natural birth ratio of boys to girls – about 105 to 100. But in China and northern India, the ratio is now about 120 to 100. In some Chinese provinces the ratio is 130 to 100. In some places, the ratio for a third child has reached an incredible 200 to 100.

Even The Economist, which vigorously champions “legal, safe, and rare” abortion, is dismayed at this appalling gendercide. “The cumulative consequence for societies of such individual actions is catastrophic,” it says in its editorial. Read more.

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