12 countries could ‘lose’ up to 5 million women in the next decade

Since the 1970s, sex-selective abortions in China, India and a dozen other countries have led to a “shortage” of around 23 to 45 million women. According to a new study, these same countries will “lose” another 4.7 million female births by 2030, which will further skew their sex ratio, indique Science Alert.

Scientists used a model based on 3.26 billion birth certificates from 204 countries and identified 12 countries with strong evidence of sexe-ratio asymmetric as well as 17 others that can go in this direction.

Sustainable societal consequences

Their model predicts that by 2100 these countries will lose a total of 5.7 million women, a fraction of what has been lost since 1970, when it became possible to determine the sex of unborn children. This lack of women can have lasting cultural and societal repercussions. In China and India, where there are now 70 million more men than women, declining marriages have already led to a worrying increase in loneliness, as well as an increase in violence, trafficking in women and their prostitution.

The good news from this study, published in BMJ Global Healthis that the 12 countries where 95% of all current missing births are located are now showing signs of recovery, particularly China and India. In recent years, gender imbalances in these two countries have started to slow down, as government officials put in place incentives for female births and restrictions on selective abortions. But the team of scientists who conducted the study say more work is still needed. They explain that more immediate measures must be taken if we want to rebalance the sexes in countries such as Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Vietnam. All the more so if the 17 countries cited as “Being able to go in this direction” such as Pakistan, Egypt or Tanzania start to distort their sex ratio. In this case, that would be 22 million more women who would not be born by 2100.

Although this scenario remains hypothetical, the subject is not irrelevant. In addition to these abortions based on sex, there are female infanticides, denounced by researchers. While it is difficult to predict how these behaviors will change, it is important to understand how they impact the well-being of a country’s population. “These results highlight the need to monitor [le rapport de masculinité à la naissance] in countries with a preference for boys and to address the factors behind the persistence of gender prejudices in families and institutions ”, write the authors.

Source: Slate.fr by www.slate.fr.

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