U.S. Takes Action Against ‘Gendercide’

 

June 2011:

U.S. congress takes a stand against gendercide by signing the Declaration to End Gendercide, a document drafted by the non-profit All Girls Allowed. The Declaration envokes articles two and three of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, it “condemns the systematic elimination of girls occurring in India and China” and calls on families, communities and governments to educate, nurture and aggressively protect the lives of young girls the world over.

 

Read IPS article: www.ipsnews.net/2011/06/us-takes-action-against-gendercide/

 

India’s sex ratio is getting worse. The trend can be reversed

 

THE news from India's 2011 census is almost all heartening. Literacy is up; life expectancy is up; family size is stabilising. But there is one grim exception. In 2011 India counted only 914 girls aged six and under for every 1,000 boys. Without intervention, just a few more boys would be born than girls. If you compare the number of girls actually born to the number that would have been born had a normal sex ratio prevailed, then 600,000 Indian girls go missing every year. This is less distorted than the sex ratio in China, but whereas China's ratio has stabilised, India's is widening, and has been for decades. Sex selection is now invading parts of the country that used not to practise it.

 

Read The Economist Article: www.economist.com/node/18530101

ARTICLES OF INTEREST

 

Below are articles that may be of interest to both human rights advocates, teachers and students. This page will be updated frequently, so check back often. Adobe Acrobat is required to view some of the articles.

FEATURED ARTICLES

March 22, 2014

Abstract:

Lower fertility can translate into a more male-biased sex ratio if son preference is persistent and technology for sex-selection is easily accessible. This paper investigates whether financial incentives can overcome this trade-off in the context of an Indian scheme, Devirupak, that seeks to decrease both fertility and the sex ratio at birth. First, I construct a model where the effects of incentives are determined by the strength of son preference, the cost of children, and the cost of sex-selection, relative to the size of incentives. Second, I create a woman-year panel dataset from retrospective birth histories and use variation in the composition of pre-existing children as well as the state and the year of program implementation to estimate its causal effect. Devirupak successfully lowers the number of children by 1 percent, but mainly through a 2 percent decrease in the number of daughters. Faced with a choice between a son and only daughters, couples choose a son despite lower monetary benefits, and thus the sex ratio at birth unintentionally increases. A subsidy worth 10 months of average household consumption expenditure is insufficient to induce parents to give up sons entirely. Instead, Devirupak increases the proportion of one-boy couples by 5 percent. The proportion of one-girl couples increases only among the lowest socioeconomic status groups.

April 7, 2014

Abstract:

Recent scholarship has documented an alarming increase in the sex ratio at birth in parts of East Asia, South Asia and the South Caucuses. I argue that parents engage in sex selection because of patrilocal norms that dictate elderly coresidence between parents and sons. Sex ratios and coresidence rates are positively correlated when looking across countries, within countries across districts, and within districts across ethnic groups. I examine the origins of patrilocality, and find it is most common among ethnic groups which practiced intensive agriculture. I conclude with an examination of how parents respond to changes in public pension programs.

March 2014

Why do most medical authorities accept, endorse, and even encourage prenatal genetic screening while opposing sex-selective abortion? The juxtaposition of these 2 practices raises questions of how they compare and whether there is a credible, ethical basis for endorsing one while condemning the other. We hope to encourage this conversation without raising broader questions about the morality of abortion, or about whether human rights should be considered applicable to fetuses. Our objective is to point out the differences in how the selective abortion of different kinds of fetuses is viewed and to explore if it is ethically defensible to treat them in radically different ways.

2003

The term gendercide allows a theoretical breakthrough in understanding violence against women. The case of Kurdistan shows that patriarchal violence cannot be reduced to the action of a single male person, although such individual acts certainly occur on a large scale. Also, women are not always targeted as individuals. Gendercide offers a crucial conceptual opening by emphasizing mass violence against women as a matter of policy by the state, by non-state communities, by religious establishments, and/or by the military at war.In Iraqi Kurdistan, the honor killing and self-immolation condoned or tolerated by the Kurdish administration may be viewed as gendercide or _conditions of gendercide. These forms of violence cannot be adequately explained within the framework of current conceptualizations of "violence against women." The concept gendercide thus allows a refinement of the 1948 UN Convention on thePrevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide by adding a gender element to the definition of the term. Article II of the Convention defines genocide as: any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, radal or religious groups, as such: Killing members of the group;Causing serious bodily or mental harm to the members of the group;Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physic cal destruction in whole in part .The concept gendercide adds gender to "national, ethnical, racial or religious groups." It offers fresh opportunities for activism to prevent gendercide, for policy making, and for theorization of state and nation-building.

19 DEC 2007

In the midst of a genetic revolution in medicine, Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) has become a well-established technique to help infertile women achieve pregnancy. But many women are now turning to ART not just to circumvent infertility, but consciously to shape their families by determining the sex of their children. Many patriarchal cultures have a gender preference for males and to date have used technological advances in reproductive medicine to predetermine the sex of the child being born. Women have sought sex-selective abortions, where the pregnancy was being terminated solely on the basis of the sex of the unborn fetus. The combination of ART advances and gender preference has led to the disappearance of at least 100 million girls from the world's population leading to a mass gendercide. This article examines the societal impact of unbalanced gender ratios and the need to regulate sex selection to avoid nations of bachelors.

2011

We describe a Bayesian projection model to produce countryspecific projections of the total fertility rate (TFR) for all countries. The model decomposes the evolution of TFR into three phases: pre-transition high fertility, the fertility transition, and post-transition low fertility. The model for the fertility decline builds on the United Nations Population Division’s current deterministic projection methodology, which assumes that fertility will eventually fall below replacement level. It models the decline in TFR as the sum of two logistic functions that depend on the current TFR level, and a random term. A Bayesian hierarchical model is used to project future TFR based on both the country’s TFR history and the pattern of all countries. It is estimated from United Nations estimates of past TFR in all countries using aMarkov chainMonte Carlo algorithm. The post-transition low fertility phase is modeled using an autoregressive model, in which long-term TFR projections converge toward and oscillate around replacement level. The method is evaluated using out-of-sample projections for the period since 1980 and the period since 1995, and is found to be well calibrated.

Mar 6, 2012

When Asians migrated to Western countries they brought welcome recipes for curries and dim sum. Sadly, a few of them also imported their preference for having sons and aborting daughters. Female feticide happens in India and China by the millions, but it also happens in North America in numbers large enough to distort the male to female ratio in some ethnic groups.1–4 Should female feticide in Canada be ignored because it is a small problem localized to minority ethnic groups? No. Small numbers cannot be ignored when the issue is about discrimination against women in its most extreme form. This evil devalues women. How can it be curbed? The solution is to postpone the disclosure of medically irrelevant information to women until after about 30 weeks of pregnancy.

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2007

Sex-selection technology is a multi-headed hydra of medical breakthroughs, societal problems, genetic mysteries, and ethical quandaries. Identifying approaches to deal with the old and new sex-selection technologies will prove to be a challenge at the state, national, and international level for years to come. In searching for ways to ameliorate the extant and potentially negative effects of sex selection, it is important to strike a balance between the autonomy of the individual—whether parent, family member, or doctor—and the welfare of society as a whole. In the U.S., comprehensive legislation should be enacted to eliminate the potential for harmful sex-selection practices and to manage ethically new sexselection technology. In India, China, and other parts of Asia, effective sexselection practices will include enforcement mechanisms for existing anti-sexselection laws coupled with incentive programs for families with daughters and improved educational access for women. While such plans are currently necessary to begin curbing the troubling tide of non-medical sex selection, they can be only partially effective. A true change in the practice can be achieved only by confronting the deep, societal roots of gender preference. 154. Remaley,

The People's Movement for Human Rights Education (PDHRE)

Includes excerpts from the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, the Internatio nal Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the Internatio nal Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, and the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

2003 Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights

Facilitator Guide to teaching about Gender violence - At the end of this session, participants will be able to: - Define gender-based violence. - Identify different types and sites of gender-based violence, its main victims and perpetrators. - Discuss what gender-based violence is and why it is a violation of women’s human rights. - Analyze gender-based violence from the women’s human rights perspective.

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