Sunday, September 05, 2010

Gendercide / Violence against Women and Girls

Tens of Millions of "Missing" Girls, September 5, 2010
"Discrimination against women and girls takes a staggering toll around the world, says author Sheryl WuDunn. It leads to as many as 100 million fewer females than males in the world. Ending the oppression of women is the great moral challenge of the 21st Century, a cause she compares to fighting slavery in the 19th century and totalitarianism in the 20th Century. WuDunn, a former reporter for The New York Times who is now an investment banker, and her husband, Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, wrote 'Half the Sky,' a book focusing on the role of women in the world. She spoke about their findings at the TED Global conference in Oxford in July and in an interview with CNN. During their time as correspondents in China, WuDunn and Kristof learned of the phenomenon of an estimated 30 million 'missing' baby girls in the nation. WuDunn says part of the gap could be attributed to infanticide by families who were determined to have a male child under China's one-child policy and in part to the development of the sonogram.
That medical device can be used to determine the gender of a child before birth, prompting some parents to obtain abortions. 'One peasant in the southern part of China once told us, "The sonogram's great, we don't need to have baby girls any more."' The problem is not limited to China; WuDunn says there are between 60 million and 100 million missing females in the world, even though women outnumber men in some more developed nations. The solutions, she says, are education and economic opportunity. Overpopulation is one of the larger contributors to poverty, WuDunn said. 'When you educate a girl, she has significantly fewer kids.' Girls who go to school get married later in life and educate their children 'in a more enlightened way.' [...]"
[n.b. Thanks to Jo Jones for bringing this source to my attention.]

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