Gender imbalance threatens social stability in Asia
Summary of story from Viet Nam News, October 6, 2011
Experts at an international conference this week called for Asian countries to address a widespread gender imbalance that could threaten social stability in the future.
Speaking at the conference, Director of the United Nations Population Fund in Asia-Pacific, Nobuko Horibe said gender discrimination had fuelled alarming sex selection trends in a number of Asian countries:
“This will impact on future generations and will have serious demographic implications as the world population reaches seven billion this month.
“Discrimination against girls anywhere in the world is a social ill and a human rights violation, which must be stopped.”
The Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Thien Nhan expressed concern on behalf of the Vietnamese Government over the country’s rising sex ratio at birth, which could reach 1:1.15 in favour of males by 2015 without comprehensive intervention.
According to Christopher Guilmoto, an international technical expert at the Institute of Research for Development inParis, experts estimate that at least 117 million women across Asia today are “missing”, largely due to the current sex ratio imbalance at birth.
The missing women of Asia were first brought to the world’s attention in the 1990s by Indian economist Amartya Sen, referring to the fact that their potential existence had been eliminated through sex selection abortion or female infanticide.