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For every 100 girls that are born in India, there are 108.4 baby boys. Whereas, as stated in this World Health Organization bulletin, the ”natural sex ratio quotient [is] 0.512 (i.e. a total of 105 boys born for every 100 girls born).” In a country of over a billion people, these missing three girls for every 100 boys quickly adds up.

In India, the systematic aborting of female fetuses is a particularly complex topic. According to the United Nations Population Fund (pdf), there are many states in India that don’t face this issue. They have an average ratio of baby girls to boys. Other regions, notably western India, have as few as 77 girls born for every 100 baby boys.

Societal and family pressures play a significant role in the desire to only have boys in India — things like more financial incentives, increased opportunity for gainful employment, and access to better education. For example, in the state of Punjab, particularly known for its low ratio of girls to boys, women who are more educated are in fact more likely to abort female fetuses.

The following MediaStorm video paints a narrative picture of the plight of women in India, including the modern phenomenon of sex-selective abortions. Despite the complexity, this video echoes Nicholas Kristof’s reminder that we globally need to focus on improving the rights of women.

(image source: United Nations Population Fund)


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7 Comments

What an amazing video and story. It's almost unbelievable to think that highly educated women in Punjab are more likely to abort female fetuses - why do you suppose this is?

I put a comment in the opening section of the story about the ratios being much greater than 105/100 in some parts of India -- and here's the supporting evidence! Same is true for China.

I have held a special affection for the Indian people for 40 years, but never knew the situation there was so dire for women. I will be praying about what to do, because--as with some of our problems here in America--things need to be changed soon. And we do not realize that things will be much better when love for all is actualized.

I have no words. It is horrific.

Heartbreaking

Thank you. I'd saw the film Water and got a glimpse of some of this. Now I know more. This is very sad. Good luck to the hope!

How long will this calamity continue until dharma is restored?