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Gendercide: 200 million women missing


Sarah Macshane
WVoN co-editor 

In many parts of the world, but especially China and India, girls are killed, aborted and abandoned simply for being girls.

The United Nations estimates that as many as 200 million girls are missing in the world today because of “gendercide” or female infanticide.

According to Marina Porras, “female infanticide is the intentional killing of baby girls due to the preference for male babies and from the low value associated with the birth of females.”

Gendercide exists on almost every continent, affecting rich and poor, educated and illiterate, Hindu, Muslim, Confucian and Christian alike.

Even though Mao Zedong once said “women hold up half the sky”, China has particularly high rates of female infanticide where more than 120 boys are being born for every 100 girls.

In order to confront the situation and prevent a serious gender imbalance, all countries need to raise the value of girls. NGOs, global experts and grassroots activists are campaigning for change, including The 50 Million Missing campaign, set up to stop India’s female genocide.

In three generations more than 50 million women have been selectively eliminated from India’s population through practices like female feticide, infanticide, intentional starvation of girls and dowry related murders.

It’s a girl, a film being released this year, documents the practice of gendercide in India and China. The trailer’s most chilling scene is one in which an Indian woman who, unable to contain her laughter, confesses to having killed eight infant daughters.

We live in a world of seven billion people with a sex ratio of 986 females per 1,000 males. But can you imagine a world with a ratio of 45:55 or 40:60?

Unless serious action is taken to stop female infanticide, we are headed towards a situation with an overwhelmingly male population with little notion of how to face the problems that the imbalance will inevitably bring.

  1. I wish it were possible to remove all women & girls from such countries to a safe haven and leave the men behind.

  2. It is estimated that about 50 million girls have gone missing. They are aborted based on their sex. India has passed laws 18 years ago making it illegal for a medical practitioner to reveal the sex of an unborn baby. This law is rarely implemented because most of the government officials and judiciary are apathetic to this epidemic. This has caused the sex ratios to be extremely skewed in certain parts of India.
    Please read the following articles and the story of one lone woman, Dr Mitu Khurana, who has bought a case against the hospital, her husband and in- laws, who illegally found out the sex of her unborn twin baby girls and then tried to force her to have an abortion. She has been given the run around for four long years by the Indian judicial system.

    Can anyone give a voice to the 50 million girls that have been silenced forever? All Dr. Khurana is asking for is a chance to go before an unbiased judge and be heard. Can we all give a voice to the 50 million murdered and raise the question with Indian officials as to why they are silently witnessing the elimination of a whole generation. The silence of the Indian officials tell the story and makes us wonder if Dr. Khurana and the 50 million dead baby girls will ever see justice done.
    Please give those 50 million girls silenced forever, a voice. Please forward this to as many friends as possible.

  3. J M Collins says:

    The term ‘gendercide’ seems to have replaced ‘femicide’.

    This is unnecessary because femicide is accurate. Why are you dismantling the language required to articulate your own case and undermine the causes of the genocide of women and girls?

    The word is femicide.

    Women and girls are murdered and female foetuses aborted because of their biological sex which is female. Gendercide does not describe this specificity.

    Women and girls are not murdered and aborted because of their gender identity. There is no equivalent practice for males.

    Gender is an ‘identity’ and a social construct. Women and girls, are not a gender group.

    Women and girls belong to the group of people determined by the female sex. That is what makes them a group that are targeted for female genocide, or femicide.

    Women and girls are murdered because patriarchy is a system of oppression and domination of the female biological sex as a class, regardless of how any of those females ‘identify’ in terms of gender. Femicide makes no distinction so why do you?

    When you fail to name that oppression then you fail the women and girls you are trying to protect.

    Take a look at Brazil Feminists there want ‘femicide’ recorded and with good reason. Part of their campaign is #InvisibilidadeMata (invisibility kills). Your use of the term ‘gendercide’ is contributing to that invisibility.

    Gender identity takes many forms. What your draws attention to is the increasing need for campaigns against the genocide of females. Not those people with a feminine gender identity.

    Read the following. Take note. Stop employing language that makes it impossible to articulate the violence that women and girls experience.

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