Missing – Over 100 Million Females

Over 100 million missing women – that’s the number Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen came up with in 1990, referring to the number of females aborted, killed or neglected to death in China, South Asia, West Asia and North Africa. That was then, and this is now. Most of us know that China and northern India have unnaturally large numbers of boys. But you may not realize how bad the problem is, or that it is getting worse.

In China the imbalance between the sexes was 108 boys to 100 girls in the late 1980s; now more than 120 boys are being born for every 100 girls. (Statistics reveal that slightly more boys than girls are born naturally, but nothing like this.) And although the situation is most extreme in China, it has spread far and wide. According to the Economist in their March 6 leader, “Other East Asian countries, including Taiwan and Singapore, former communist states in the western Balkans and the Caucasus, and even sections of America’s population: all these have distorted sex ratios….. it is no exaggeration to call this gendercide.”

Why this destruction? The Economist cites three main reasons: the ancient preference for sons; the modern wish for smaller families; ultrasound technologies that identify the sex of a fetus, leading to the common procedure of gender selection abortions.

As a result of these policies, there is a huge gender imbalance: In terms of China, possibly the worst offender, more than 24 million Chinese men of marrying age could find themselves without spouses by 2020, according to a study issued in January by the government-backed Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.The gender imbalance among newborns is the most serious demographic problem for the country’s population of 1.3 billion, says the academy.

There are other side effects:
*  The growing gender imbalance means that bride abduction, forced prostitution and human trafficking have become “rampant” in some parts of the country, according to the researchers.

* The World Health Organization reports that female suicide rates in China are among the highest in the world.

All this is horrible news for women and women’s rights. A policy that dictates the aborting of female fetuses seems unthinkable in the 21st century; yet not only is the practice in place, it is actually growing.

One country has been able to halt this female infanticide. In the 1990s, South Korea had a sex ratio similar to China’s. Thanks to female education, anti-discrimination lawsuits and equal-rights rulings, this has changed and their statistics reveal an almost-normal gender ratio today.

All countries need to raise the value of girls, and do whatever it takes to slow down and stop this horrifying female infanticide.

Tammra McCauley - Creative Commons
Judy Molland

Love This? Never Miss Another Story.


ming l.
Ming l.4 years ago

this is very wrong y should a country dictate what child the adults should hve i cant belive wen i read this china BS it is appalling to say in the least y should they tell them only one child well that child will feel alone for the rest of there lives i knw i would if i was a only child stop this segaration of females let more females be born or u knw what will happen the guys will go the oppsite way an well u firgure out the rest more females needed not males

Jeanne Rainoldi
Jeanne Rainoldi4 years ago

It's just sickening.

Susannah Gardner
Susannah Gardner4 years ago

Only when there is a balancing of both sexes in the world will the rest come into balance .. what amazes me is that these countries all understand the yin and yang aspects but are totally going against their own beliefs I find this amazing in itself ...

ming l.
Ming l.4 years ago

what is the world coming too females go missing that is not right they sweet an very innocent they should not hve too suffer beco'z some law re:what gender there child should be that is so wrong plz give them the same respect as korea has adapted plz

Emma Doel
Emma Doel4 years ago


Beverley A.
Beverley A.5 years ago

China & India have far too many people anyway, however that does not justify the killing of female foetuses. They should vasectomise most of the men in these countries so that the populations there can return to some kind of normality.

Nellie K A.
Nellie K. Adaba5 years ago

Gendercide is China and India. Now wonder in China men can't find wives! Because there's just not enough women! THey don't use common sense. I was talking about it with my Mom a week ago because I was reading about an Indian soap era that is trying to change that traditional mentality that male figures patriarcal - have towards females, they just want sons (males).... I work for an NGO, and so does my Mom and we're fighting for social justice and human rights - gender equality, workers' rights....

Vanessa S.
Vanessa S.5 years ago

Carole: It the cause for all of the women mentioned above to have abortions for only their female children were for the child's protection, wouldn't the best option be to prevent the pregnancy in the first place? I am not passing judgement on women who have this procedure done. All I am saying is that I can only imagine that this is not a desired procedure for anyone.

If these couples are not ready to cherish any child that they conceive, then they are obviously not ready to have a child at all.

Mervi R.
Mervi R.5 years ago

This just incredible and horrible beyond words!

johan l.
paul l.5 years ago

Female abductions, sme-sex affairs, prostitution and other abnormal ways of life, will grow exponentially in China and other places!
If the one child marriage is still in place in China, this will make it even worse as people would rather have an abortion than have a babygirl.
We try and do everything in our power to uplift womens rights but this is something no one outside those countries, are able to do even the tiniest thing about it!