Preference for boys “abhorrent form of gender discrimination”

sex selection favouring boys

sex selection favouring boys

Pressure on women to give birth to boys is fueling a culture of discrimination and violence against women and girls according to a report by United Nations agencies. The report says sex selection favouring boys can lead to violence, abandonment, divorce or even death among women who give birth to girls. The so-called 'son preference' culture is common in many parts of South, East and Central Asia. The report says the preference of boys over girls was an abhorrent form of gender discrimination which must be brought to an end. Rupert Colville is from the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

 "Sex selection in favour of boys is a symptom of pervasive social, cultural, political and economic injustices against women, and a manifest violation of women's human rights, and it cites one man's testimony that "the birth of a son enhances my status, while that of a girl lowers my head. This huge pressure in some countries on women to produce sons…which not only directly affects women's reproductive decisions, with implications for their health and survival, but also puts women in a position where they must perpetuate the lower status of girls through son preference. It is also women who have to bear the consequences of giving birth to an unwanted girl child. These consequences can include violence, abandonment, divorce or even death."

Duration 44″

The report says the preference of boys over girls has caused sex ratio imbalance in many countries particularly in South Asia, East Asia and Central Asia where ratios as high as 130 boys for every 100 girls have been observed.

It was jointly released by UN Human Rights, UNFPA, UNICEF , UN Women and WHO.

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December 2017
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