Gender EQuality

Sex-Ratio Imbalance in Asia: Trends, Consequences and Policy Responses

The following studies were undertaken at the request of UNFPA for presentation at the 4th Asia Pacific Conference on Sexual and Reproductive Health. The Regional Analysis offers an overview of the mechanisms and consequences of the growing gender imbalances observed today in Asia.

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The following studies analyse different aspects of skewed sex balance ratios in four countries (China, India, Nepal and Viet Nam).

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Imbalanced Sex Ratio at Birth and Comprehensive Intervention in China
Shuzhuo Li
Institute for Population and Development Studies
School of Public Policy and Administration
Xi’an Jiaotong University

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Characteristics of Sex-Ratio Imbalances in India and Future Scenarios
Christophe Z. Guilmoto
LPED/IRD, Paris

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Sex Selection: Pervasiveness and Preparedness in Nepal
Center for Research on Environment Health and Population Activities

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New “Common Sense”: Family-Planning Policy and Sex Ratio in Viet Nam
Findings from a qualitative study in Bac Ninh, Ha Tay and Binh Dinh
The Institute for Social Development Studies


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A subsequent paper, "Estimations of Missing Girls at Birth and Juvenile Ages in India" was commissioned by UNFPA in 2007 to review the mulitple methodologies being used by demographers to arrive at an estimate of the number of girls that go missing in India as a result of prenatal sex selection. The author, Professor P.M. Kulkarni, an eminent Indian demographer, estimates that on an average 700,000 girls a year (that's about 2,000 per day) go missing in India as a result of illegal sex determination and consequent elimination. He estimates that this amounts to as many as 10 million girls missing in the two and half decades between 1981 and 2005.

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