SUNDAY, 27 JANUARY 2013

Fewer Girls = A More Violent World

comment   | print |

In light of the horrific news that came out of India during New Zealand’s summer holidays, I want to share with you all an impassioned article from the Sydney Morning Herald about the terrible plight of women around the world, and particularly in China and India. The authors, V Rukmini Rao and Lynette Dumble, are from the Gramya Resource Centre for Women in India, a “group of women who are development activists and from the women's movement for equality”. In this article they argue that fewer girls will lead to a more dangerous, violent world: an argument that we ran at the beginning of 2011 on this blog. 

The authors question the optimism of institutions like the World Bank, which claim that the child sex ratios skewed towards males in China and India are peaking and that the “missing girls” phenomenon can be addressed in Asia with “continuing vigorous efforts to reduce son preference”.  Instead of solely blaming “patrilinear mindsets”, the authors recognise that those mindsets only brought about the current crisis in female numbers by:

“...acting in tandem with imposed population control programs, increasingly cheap technologies that identify an unborn child's sex, and the availability of abortion that stretches beyond the rule of law...”

As we have seen so recently, a shortage of young women does not “empower” women, or make them more “valuable in their scarcity”.  Instead:

“a masculinised sex ratio has instead amounted to the increased likelihood of girls and women contending with rape, abduction, bride-sharing, trafficking, forced marriage, and various other forms of violence and discrimination.”

This can be seen in both India and China:

“...a significant correlation between increased crime and the falling female component of the sex ratio in India, and a doubling of crime rates during the recent period of male-dominated sex ratios in China.

Defying widely held impressions, the crime of rape is yet to be officially linked to masculinised sex ratios. Yet, according to 2011 statistics from India's National Crime Records Bureau, rape has been the country's most rapidly growing crime since 1971.

Increasing by a staggering 792 per cent in those 40 years, rape dwarfs the rise in other serious crimes such as murder (106 per cent), armed robbery (27 per cent) and kidnapping (298 per cent).

At the same time, in India's states where the sex ratio is highly skewed in favour of males, the daily reports of rape and gang rape are consistent with notions that a surplus of men, devoid of the feminising influence of sisters, girlfriends and wives, are driven towards committing violent crimes against women.

In fact, it might well be said that to deny the link between the country's masculinised sex ratio and national average of 22 women raped each hour is to live in disgraceful disregard for the lifelong suffering the crime inflicts upon girls and women.”

Thus, not only does gendercide imperil girls in the womb and in their first years in the world, it continues to make the world a more dangerous place for women who survive into adulthood. Hopefully one bright spot out of the terrible tragedy in India will be a greater awareness of the perilous world girls inhabit, from conception. 

 

 

 


MORE ON THESE TOPICS | China, gendercide, India

 
comments powered by Disqus
 

Welcome to Demography Is Destiny, MercatorNet’s blog about human dignity and population. We launched this after seeing two themes crop up constantly in the media: that humans are a cancer which is destroying our planet and that world population is spiralling up to unsustainable levels. 

Although many people dress up these concerns in global warming T-shirts, the underlying issue is the Population Bomb. Back in the 1960s the Stanford biologist Paul Ehrlich proclaimed that Malthus was right: the world faced mass starvation because there was too little food and too many people. Well, Ehrlich was proved wrong over and over again, and over and over again the fear comes back, like a vampire sucking optimism and hope out of modern society. I hope that this blog helps to put a stake through the heart of this dangerous and indefensible idea.

Dangerous, because the unsupported notion that the world cannot support its population is being used to promote human rights abuses, including coercive population programs. And indefensible, because world population, is actually on track to a steep decline. You could call it catastrophic, except that we are trying to avoid fostering apocalyptic fears on MercatorNet. We prefer to leave that to climate-change scaremongers. But it will certainly bring about enormous problems. At the moment, world population is about 6.8 billion. By the year 2050, it will rise to 9 billion, according to a United Nations scenario for mid-range fertility rates. But this global statistic conceals the fact that populations in many developed countries will actually decline. The number of elderly will increase enormously. Russia’s population will decline by one-fifth by 2050, for instance.

Huge problems are looming because of this “demographic winter” – social, financial, human rights, geo-political, cultural, and religious. We hope to track these changes, puncture illusions, and foster hope with Demography Is Destiny. And there is plenty of room for hope. After all, in the oft-quoted words of economist Julian Simon, people are the “ultimate resource”. We may not be over-populated, but we do have plenty of intelligent, inventive, adaptive people.

Where did we get the name? The catchphrase “Demography is Destiny” has almost become a cliché. It seems that it was coined by the French philosopher and sociologist August Comte in the 19th Century. But it still rings true.


rss Demography RSS feed


Follow MercatorNet
Facebook
Twitter
Newsletters
Sections and Blogs
Harambee
PopCorn
Conjugality
Careful!
Family Edge
Sheila Reports
Reading Matters
Demography Is Destiny
Conniptions (the editorial)
Information
our ideals
our People
Mercator who?
partner sites
audited accounts
donate
New Media Foundation
Suite 12A, Level 2
5 George Street
North Strathfield NSW 2137
Australia

editor@mercatornet.com
+61 2 8005 8605
skype: mercatornet
© New Media Foundation 2014 | powered by Encyclomedia | designed by Elleston