Home
In this issue
April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review March 15, 2010 / 29 Adar 5770

100 million ‘missing’ girls

By Jeff Jacoby

Jeff Jacoby




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | In India each year, it is estimated, as many as a million baby girls are aborted by parents determined not to raise a daughter. Those unborn girls are the victims of a fierce cultural preference for boys -- and of modern imaging technology that makes it easy to learn the sex of a baby in the womb. Ultrasound scans started becoming widely available in India in the 1980s; since then, an estimated 10 million female babies have been destroyed during pregnancy.

Sex-selection tests are illegal in India. So are sex-selective abortions. But the laws are rarely enforced and easily circumvented. Rather than openly disclose the sex of a fetus after an ultrasound exam, for example, some Indian doctors signal the results by giving the parents pink or blue candies or candles. Others dispense with subtlety altogether, advertising their services with such brazen slogans as "Spend 500 rupees now and save 50,000 rupees later" -- an allusion to the potentially crippling dowry that an Indian bride's parents are expected to pay when their daughter gets married. Many couples have taken that deal. The result is an alarming shortage of young Indian women -- and a growing population of young Indian men with little prospect of finding a wife.

It isn't only in India that unborn girls are being killed on such a mass scale.

Last week, in a chilling cover story titled "The worldwide war on baby girls," The Economist noted that in many parts of China, the ratio of boys to girls is now 124-to-100. "These rates are biologically impossible without human intervention," the magazine observed, and their consequences will be dire. The Chinese Academy of Social Sciences recently warned that within 10 years, 24 million Chinese men will find themselves condemned to permanent bachelorhood. Among Chinese 19 and younger, the prospects are even worse: By 2020, there will be 30 million to 40 million more males in this age group than females. That is a staggering number of what the Chinese call guanggun, or "bare branches" -- young males with little prospect of marriage and a stable family life.

"In any country," says The Economist, "rootless young males spell trouble; in Asian societies, where marriage and children are the recognized routes into society, single men are almost like outlaws. Crime rates, bride trafficking, sexual violence, even female suicide rates are all rising and will rise further as the lopsided generations reach their maturity."

The war against baby girls has spread to South Korea, Singapore, and Taiwan, to the former Soviet republics of Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia, and even to Asian-American communities in the United States. In 1990, the Indian economist and Nobel laureate Amartya Sen estimated that more than 100 million women were "missing" worldwide, the result of "terrible . . . inequality and neglect" of girls and women in much of Asia and Africa. Twenty years later, the toll is far higher. And if you think that the antidote to this "gendercide" is modernization, better living standards, and more education, think again.

"It is not the country's poorest but its richest who are eliminating baby girls at the highest rate, regardless of religion or caste," the Times of London reported in 2007. "Delhi's leafiest suburbs have among the lowest ratio of girls to boys in India, while the two states with the absolute lowest ratio are those with the highest per-capita income: Punjab and Haryana." Similarly in China, the higher a province's literacy rate or income per head, the more skewed its sexual disparities.

It is not material poverty that leads these cultures to blithely accept the killing of their very youngest girls. It is a poverty of values, an ancient prejudice that views daughters as a financial burden to be avoided, rather than a blessing to be cherished.

In Message from an Unknown Chinese Mother, the Chinese author Xinran Xue writes about visiting a peasant family in Shandong while the mother is giving birth. The baby turns out to be a girl, and Xinran hears "a man's gruff voice [say] accusingly: 'Useless thing!'" To her horror, the "useless thing" is thrown into a pail of slops to be drowned. When Xinran protests -- "But that's murder!" -- an older woman tells her: "Doing a baby girl is not a big thing around here."

"That's a living child," I said in a shaking voice, pointing at the slops pail.

"It's not a child," she corrected me. "It's a girl baby, and we can't keep it. Around these parts, you can't get by without a son. Girl babies don't count."

On its cover, The Economist asks: "What happened to 100 million baby girls?" The answer is simple -- and sickening: They didn't count.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Jeff Jacoby is a Boston Globe columnist. Comment by clicking here.

Jeff Jacoby Archives

© 2010, Boston Globe

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles