Intended for healthcare professionals


Sex selection in Asia has debilitating effects on women’s health, says UN

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: (Published 21 June 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d3880
  1. John Zarocostas
  1. 1Geneva

Gender biased sex selection, widespread in many parts of Asia, has serious and profoundly debilitating effects on the mental and physical health of women, says a report by five United Nations agencies.

Selection in favour of boys “is a symptom of pervasive social, cultural, political, and economic injustices against women, and a manifest violation of women’s human rights,” it says.

“The increasing availability of technologies such as amniocentesis and ultrasonography has facilitated an increase in the occurrence of sex selection,” concludes the report, compiled by the World Health Organization, Unicef, UN Women, and other agencies.

The discovery of a female fetus, it argues, can lead to its abortion, and it claims …

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