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Friday, 13 January 2017

Real Gender Inequality

Gender inequality is a common problem …. well according to the ‘wimmin of the left’ in the West. However they largely focus on the fact that if a woman takes career time off to have children, she sometimes doesn’t get promoted as fast as a male colleague when she eventually returns to the workforce. A fallacious argument at best, but one that has traction with women writers in the media and especially in the BBC.

However, there is in fact a form of gender inequality that is practised worldwide, outside of the West, which is birth selection. This has been exacerbated by the ability of doctors to tell prospective parents the likely sex of their next child in the womb ….. so in many cultures, if it’s a girl child, the child is aborted or killed. If you work with Asians at work gently ask around, you will be surprised how many of them have a first born son … far more in fact than the laws of chance would seem to predict.

This Is Not Necessarily An Innocent Scene ....

An example of this kind of mindset was seen recently in Pakistan, where a man called Umar Zaib, threw his one-and-a-half years old daughter into the river Ravi to drown ... when his wife tried to save the child, he beat her back with his fists. The wife later told the police and reporters that "Since our first daughter has born, he wasn't happy, he wanted a son. He said if I had another daughter, he'd kill our first child, Zainab. When, eight weeks ago, I did have another girl, he kept threatening more and more, then he did it."

In some countries, this mindset has led to such an imbalance between the sexes that many men will never be able to get married, or will have to take a foreign wife, because there is such a shortfall of eligible females. Now you might think that this would play into the hands of women, but in these patriarchal societies the answer to this is sometimes, simply to kidnap young women and force them to marry.

So despite all the changes that have occurred in the societal make-up in both India and China, for every 100 baby girls born in India, there are 111 baby boys born. In China, the ratio is 100 to 115 …. in South Korea (no figures available for the North), the figure once reached 116.5 boys for every baby girl born - they have since, via a raft of measures, reduced this to a more normal 105.3 males to girls ratio … which compares with Canada.

I don’t have the time or interest to especially look up lots of other countries …. but I believe that the world average is 1.01 males/females for all populations and rather sadly 1.06 males/females for children under the age of 15, which suggests that the problem is still getting worse. However I do know that perhaps surprisingly there is no especial religious divide here … many countries exhibit this issue, regardless of the majority religion, India and China both being prime examples.

Armenia has an estimated ration of 1.12/100 in favour of males, while Georgia in the same region, also has the same sort of rates at 1.113/100. While Saudi Arabia and Iran have far more normal rates at 105/100 …. So geography seems to be the factor. Possibly with tie-ins to Pre-Christian and Pre-Islamic traditions in some regions, and simply a long term cultural bias in others.

It’s not clear if these issues will ever be resolved, despite the mass urbanisation taking place worldwide …. In fact South Korea is the only example of a reversal in the trend in the whole Oriental and South Asian area.

I offer no solutions either … I just found the problem worthy of discussion.

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