163 million women are ‘missing’, the result of sex selective abortions and other techniques that favor male offspring. The problem is the worst in China where the sex ratio at birth (SRB) is 100 girls:120 boys and in India where the ration is 100 girls:108 boys. Other countries such as Nepal and Vietnam may be at risk as well.
As Renuka Chowdhry, India’s junior minister for women and child development explains,
“When there is no economic recognition to women’s work and no social value attached to this particular gender, when resource sharing remains inequitable, when women are paid less then it becomes easier to do away with this gender.”
The ramifications of these imbalances will lead to the “masculinisation” of Asia. As the article points out,
“There will be a vast army of surplus males causing a ‘marriage squeeze’ with the most underprivileged the worst off. With fewer women of marriageable age, men will have to delay marriage; it may also lead to a backlog of older unmarried men.”