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Gendercide: THE CAUCASUS


Gendercide has been occurring for decades in the Southern Caucasus and research shows it's now on the rise in recent years. The gender gap between male to female births is now only second to China, for example Armenia, has an extimated 138 boys that are born for every 100 girls amongst first children, as the following chart reflects:

Gendercide: Gender Control in the Southern Caucasus


ARTICLE BY Mari Sahakyan


The prevalence of this sex selection spread with the rise in the use of ultrasound machines after the collapse of the Soviet Union. The situation is even more dire when it comes to the second and third born. In Georgia, this disparity in the ratio jumped to 140 males to 100 females born, meaning women who had two daughters and a male third born had significantly more abortions that those who already had a boy. Interesting to note though, is while such equipment also became more common in other past Soviet satellites such as Ukraine, sex ratios there remained stable.


Read the full article:



Over the past quarter century the sex ratio at birth (SRB) has risen above natural levels in a number of countries, mostly in Asia. This rise has been made possible in populations with strong son preference by the increasing availability of safe, effective, and inexpensive technologies to determine the sex of a fetus and to end unwanted pregnancies. This article documents levels and trends in the sex ratio at birth, in preferences for male offspring (using information on desired number of girls and boys), and in the implementation of these preferences. DHS surveys from 61 countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America and for Indian states are the main source of data. A comparison of desired with actual SRBs finds large gaps in most populations, implying a substantial pent-up demand for male offspring and the technology to implement this preference. Two types of actions to implement preferences are considered: the practice of contraception to stop childbearing after the desired number of sons has been born and the use of sex-selective abortion to avoid female births. The second part of the article discusses factors that could influence the SRB, including the promotion of gender equality, and the implications of these factors for future trends.


CONTEXT Official data on sex ratios at birth suggest a rise in sex-selective abortions in some post-Soviet states following the introduction of ultrasonography. However, questions remain about the validity of official data in these nations as well as whether the high sex ratios at birth are a statistical artifact. METHODS Trends in sex ratios at birth from 1985 to 2009 for 12 post-Soviet states were examined using vital registration data. For the three countries that had had a Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) in 2005-2010 (Armenia, Azerbaijan and Moldova), survey data were used to calculate sex ratios at birth according to birth order, and vital registration data for 2010 were used to estimate the number of "missing" female births (if any). RESULTS Official data revealed elevated sex ratios at birth in Armenia (117), Azerbaijan (116) and Georgia (121), but not in other post-Soviet states. According to DHS data, sex ratios were high in Armenia and Azerbaijan for first births (138 and 113, respectively); if the first child was a girl, the sex ratio in Armenia was even higher for the second birth (154). Overall, the number of girls born in these countries in 2010 was 10% lower than expected, consistent with 1,972 sex-selective abortions in Armenia and 8,381in Azerbaijan. Sex ratios did not vary by birth order in Moldova. CONCLUSION Sex-selective abortion appears to be common in Azerbaijan and Armenia. Family planning and legal interventions are needed to address this issue.

Sep 21, 2013

The sex ratios in the Caucasus are especially distorted when a second or third child is born. In Armenia, among first children, there are 138 boys for every 100 girls. If the first child is a son, the next is more likely to be a girl than a boy (ie, reverse sex selection). But if the first child is a girl, son-preference goes off the scale. When the first child is a daughter, 61% of second children are sons. Armenian parents seem to plan family composition, not just size.

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