This title is the unfortunate reality that has been ravaging through the nation we know as Armenia. The country is at the pinnacle of the ever so growing issue of sex imbalances of any country in the 21st century. Armenia today is one of the leading countries that has one of the most imbalanced ratio of girls to boys at birth in the world. The countries chief concern is the alarming rate of abortions that is contributing to a demographically uneven gender balance (Grigoryan, 2016). My personal opinion about abortion would be classified as a downright heinous act of murder. Why? It goes against all the ethics and is unfair morally as well as legally. The poor unborn child isn’t responsible for the choices his parents made and this is why in a way has led to the increasing number of abortions in Armenia as abortions aren’t taken as a major issue.
This issue has been ravaging the other parts of the world such as India and china, but this has only recently emerged its way into Armenia. The ratio of boys to girls started to drastically increase during the 1990’s when there was the desire to have smaller families and also the economic disruption that came about. This when combined with the latest advancements in detecting the sex of the offspring, led many families in the perilous path to select sex selection in their quest to have a son. So what did this all result in eventually? A generation of “missing girls”, as was first explained by the renowned Indian economist Amartya Sen (Sen, 2016).
In this day and age, when there is a gender imbalance in our societies it pretty much sums up the gender inequalities within the country. If this phrase is mentioned to the people in Armenia, the typical response would be “we love our children equally” or “there isn’t any gender discrimination in our country” as much as I would love this to be true, it, unfortunately, isn’t true, lies made up to cover the mistakes a majority have made as parents. So what is it about boys that make them a priority and girls are unfortunately a liability?
The presence of a son has a strong and a practical basis. The parents have expectations from their sons, such as taking care of them once they get old and also to provide financial support to the family.
But there has been a turnaround in events within 2016. There finally is going to be a law that forbids sex-selective abortions in Armenia. According to the new law that has been passed, a woman who is seeking an abortion must have a one on one session with a doctor and has to wait for three days for the procedure. This time frame is crucial in advising the woman on the dangers of abortion. Hopefully, in due time the ratio of girls to boys will even out as no society can improve and move forward with omitting one gender and only focussing on another. So when everything settles down it could be said: “We need a son but we equally need our daughters”.
- Sen, A. (2016). More Than 100 Million Women Are Missing. [online] The New York Review of Books. Available at: http://www.nybooks.com/articles/1990/12/20/more-than-100-million-women-are-missing/ [Accessed 3 Dec. 2016].
- Grigoryan, M. (2016). Armenia: Are Selective Abortions Behind Birth Ratio Imbalance?. [online] EurasiaNet.org. Available at: http://www.eurasianet.org/node/63812 [Accessed 3 Dec. 2016].
- (2016). “We love our daughters. But we need a son.”. [online] Available at: http://blogs.worldbank.org/voices/we-love-our-daughters-we-need-son [Accessed 7 Dec. 2016].
- the Guardian. (2016). Law to cut sex-selective abortions in Armenia ‘putting lives at risk’. [online] Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/oct/21/law-to-cut-sex-selective-abortions-in-armenia-putting-lives-at-risk [Accessed 7 Dec. 2016].
- Our Bodies Ourselves. (2016). In Armenia, Abortion Rates are High and Access to Contraception is Limited – Our Bodies Ourselves. [online] Available at: http://www.ourbodiesourselves.org/2013/02/in-armenia-abortion-rates-are-high-and-access-to-contraception-is-limited/ [Accessed 7 Dec. 2016].
- Conly, S. (2015). One child. 1st ed. Oxford University Press