Gender disproportions and female foeticide

In relation to Barack Obama's recent visit, India Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a wide-sweeping reform to address the female foeticide problem, which has been growing in India over the last few decades. As fetus imaging technology has developed, a great number of pregnant women started checking the sex of their unborn children in India. If it is a girl, they simply terminate the pregnancy. As a result, while overall ratio of females to males (feminity ratio) in India is gradually improving, the same ratio among newborn babies is deteriorating dramatically. In mid-1970s there was about 94 newborn girls per 100 boys, and now it is only 90. This is definitely what the United Nations call the "emergency proportions". According to some studies, about 2,000 girls are killed every day in India, either by abortion or just after the birth. Mr. Modi is going to stop this by boosting the economy through what he calls “Women Empowerment.” His campaign is called “Educate the Girl, Save the Girl”. This medieval-era female foeticide practice continues not only in India. China and some other developing Southern Asian nations also suffer from the same problem.
It should be also mentioned, that gender disproportions differ significantly across the World. For ex-USSR territories, for example, the situation is opposite: while feminity ratio among newborns is close to normal, the same ratio among total population is remarkably high (due to higher male mortality rates and less male life expectancy). The countries, where gender disproportions are mostly not present among children and are higher at older ages, but due to higher male population, are Middle Eastern ones, especially Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Oman. In the UAE there are about 97 girls per 100 boys (0-1 year age group), whereas for older ages the number is about 44 only! Some explanations for so-called "missing women of Asia" phenomenon can be found in the works of Amartya Sen, who was awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences.



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