China and India, two of the world’s most highly populated countries, are suffering from a dramatic and unprecedented situation…they are lacking nearly 80 million women. This deficit is primarily due to their former laws, in particular China’s one-child policy, which the country abolished only in 2015. But ‘selective abortions’ –a technically forbidden but still long-running practice of aborting female fetuses, since entrenched gender inequalities cause women to be considered a ‘weight’ on families—also play a large role.
The results of these practices are alarming: these two countries are desperately lacking in women, according to the Human Rights Watch. While, with natural births, the number of adult men and women is normally about equal, there are currently 80 million fewer women than men in India and China.
A nightmarish situation
A situation like this has dramatic consequences. Numerous men will not be able to marry, and some are resorting to a radical solution: human trafficking. They buy women from the surrounding countries—in particular, Myanmar (Burma), Cambodia, and Vietnam—and force them to marry them. These women find themselves 'locked in a room and repeatedly raped so that they’ll become pregnant and give a baby to the family. After giving birth, some are allowed to leave but are required to leave their children behind,’ says Heather Barr in a report with Le Figaro.
To reverse this trend, Human Rights Watch advises attacking these problems at their base: working to fix the many social inequalities between women and men.
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