The issue of “missing girls”, manifesting in birth ratios strongly skewed in favor of boys, has received significant attention at the global level in the last few decades, particularly in Asian countries. It is associated with son preference and exacerbated by declining fertility and increased availability of sex-determining technologies in utero. The 2012 World Development Report (WDR) on Gender Equality and Development noted that 3.9 million women under 60 years of age are deemed “missing” each year. Unborn girls account for about 40 percent of these.
The phenomenon of “missing girls” was relatively recently identified in demographic trends in certain parts of Europe and Central Asia, particularly in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia. Evidence for these countries remained scarce. This seminar will look at the latest research on “missing girls” in the South Caucasus to establish the severity and underlying causes of this phenomenon in these countries. A focus will be put on discussing policy lessons from international experience and recent research on gender equality and behavior – particularly the World Bank Development Reports on Gender Equality and Development and Mind, Society and Behavior - to inform the ongoing debate on policy options in the South Caucasus.
Other dissemination events are being organized in each of the 3 countries:
- Launch of the World Bank study: “Missing Girls in South Caucasus” - Yerevan, Armenia, March 3, 2015
- "Gender biased sex selection in Georgia: Context, evidence, implications and proposed solutions" - Tbilisi, Georgia, May 4, 2015
- Azerbaijan: Launch event - upcoming, date and location to be confirmed.