INDIA – According to the Indian government’s most recent annual economic survey there is a total of 63 million women statistically “missing” in India today. This is due to sex-selective abortion as well as neglect of the girl child after birth, disease and inadequate nutrition.
The report claims that every year 2 million women go missing across age groups, causing a skewed national ratio of men to women (1,108 males to every 1,000 females).
Sex-selective abortions (called “female feticide”), and the general neglect of girls, are so prevalent in India since there is a cultural preference for sons. The killing of baby girls in the womb has a number of different reasons:
1) Property commonly passes to sons, not daughters. 2) Women often move to their husbands’ houses after marriage, taking their labor with them. 3) Although illegal, families still practice marriage dowries, meaning girls create an extra financial burden to families. 4) Sons perform important religious rituals. 5) Parents rely on support from their sons in old age.
The report also estimates that currently 21 million girls in India are unwanted by their families.