Tuesday, May 03, 2011

A terrifyingly hostile place to be born a girl

When I wrote "How can hundreds of millions...", many readers, of course, quickly linked in their minds that gender imbalance to the many horrific tales one hears emerging from China's one-child policy. If 119 boys are born for every 100 girls - as usually reported for China - then that works out to 840 girls to 1000 boys. Given China's population of 1.3 billion, this means 24 million Chinese men of marrying age without spouses by 2020.

It is instructive if grim to note this gender bias is seen as well in the very differently-governed India where the 0-6 age group now has 914 girls to 1000 boys (down from 927/1000 in 2001), confirming how the country has become "a terrifyingly hostile place to be conceived or born a girl", pointed out to me by Vinayak @kayaniv.

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