Gendercide in the Caucasus

March 16, 2010 at 10:34 pm (Women) (, , , , , , , , , , )

A belated happy International Women’s Day!  While women the world over have much to celebrate, we still have a long way to go…

This month, the Economist published an issue that focused on “Gendercide:” the gradual imbalance in the genders that occurs when a historical preference and/or necessity for male babies meets declining fertility rates and years of easily accessible prenatal sex-determining tools, like ultrasounds.  The result?  A generation of wanton bachelors that disrupt the social fabric of their communities with their lack of mates, stability, and status.  The primary article in the Economist focused on China and India; however, a chart based on United Nations data from 2000-2005 highlights the prevalence of gendercide in the Caucasus.

I was under the impression that the Caucasus were experiencing a surplus of women as men left for Russia and Europe in search of work.  This may indeed be the case; however, as the data suggests, perhaps women back home are manipulating their pregnancies to compensate for the exodus.

Solutions to this problem – according to the article – include education, equal social and economic rights for women, ending the one child policy (in China), anti-discrimination laws, and media campaigns.  Nevertheless, education and prosperity alone do not solve the gender gap; in fact “sexual disparities tend to rise with income and education.”

In the Caucasus, economic opportunities for men and women alike are essential to reversing this trend.  Furthermore, the business environment they enter must embrace women as both leaders and mothers.

With all of this prenatal finagling going on, my wish for International Women’s day 2010 is for the Caucasus to empower the women of today to give birth to the women of tomorrow.


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