Oct 26, 2011

Seanad Motion


Gendercide involves the killing of baby girls before and after birth simply on account of the lower social status of girl children. It is perhaps the most widespread human rights abuse in the world today; it's a particular problem in China and India but occurs also in parts of Europe.

Today a motion was put forward in the Seanad raising the issue of Gendercide:

1. News Release on Gendercide debate in Seanad

Gendercide a direct attack upon human dignity causing massive social upheaval

Senator Rónán Mullen tables a Private Members' Motion this Wednesday on gendercide - the practice of selective abortion, infanticide and fatal neglect of baby girls after birth. The motion notes that gendercide is one of the most horrific and widespread human rights abuses present in the world today and calls on the Government to bring diplomatic pressure to bear on states such as India and China that promote or tolerate the practice.

"Gendercide is motivated by economic and social factors leading to prejudice against baby girls," Senator Mullen says. "It is by far and away the most widespread form of violent anti-female discrimination present in the world today. An estimated 160 million girls have been killed either before or after birth over the last three decades through gendercide, mainly in India and China but increasingly also in Europe."

"Only two weeks ago the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe adopted a resolution and recommendation condemning the practice of sex-selective abortions. The Parliamentary Assembly warned of the social consequences of prenatal sex selection, namely population imbalances which lead to serious human rights violations such as forced prostitution, trafficking for the purposes of marriage or sexual exploitation, and massive social unrest."

"Although the scale of the problem has been comprehensively documented at UN level, in US Congressional reports as well as by reputable publications such as The Economist, Time and Newsweek, our Government has to yet to make a clear statement against gendercide, either domestically or internationally," Senator Mullen says.

"It's time for our Government to make a clear statement that it does not in any way tolerate gendercide and that it is committed to raising this issue in international fora. The Government must also ensure that recipients of Irish foreign aid do not promote gendercide."

Expressing the hope that the Government would depart from its usual practice of tabling amendments to private members motions in the Seanad, Senator Mullen said there was no reason for the Government to oppose his motion. "This is an issue that unites opinion from across the political spectrum," Senator Mullen said, noting that the Council of Europe's recent resolution was drafted by Swiss socialist MP, Ms. Doris Stump.

2. Private Members' motion on Gendercide

That Seanad Éireann, noting that:
- Gendercide involves the selective abortion, infanticide and fatal neglect of baby girls after birth;
- Gendercide is one of the most horrific human rights abuses present in the world today and perhaps the most widespread form of violent anti-female discrimination;
- The scale of the problem has been comprehensively documented at UN level, in US Congressional reports as well as by reputable journalists in cover story articles in The Economist, Time and Newsweek among others; and that
- Opposition to gendercide unites people with significantly different perspectives on the issue of abortion generally;

Calls on the Government to:
- Bring diplomatic pressure to bear on the governments of various states, and in particular China and India, which either promote Gendercide or tolerate the problem within their borders;
- Raise the issue of gendercide at UN and EU level, with a view to proactively challenging states like China and India to abandon coercive population limitation policies, to repeal laws that reinforce bias against baby girls, and to take steps to counter the negative cultural attitudes towards women that underpin and motivate the bias against baby girls, leading to gendercide;
- Ensure that recipients of Irish foreign aid do not promote gendercide.

3. Government counter-motion/amendment

"That Seanad Éireann, condemning in the strongest terms female infanticide and all other violations of the rights of women and girls,
- commends the Government's firm opposition to such practices and its efforts to combat all forms of gender-based violence;
- endorses the Government's strong support for gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls through its Official Development Assistance Programme."

Jul 22, 2011

Unnatural Selection : Choosing Boys over Girls - a heat-seeking missile, against the entire intellectual framework of "choice.’

A newly published book, Unnatural Selection: Choosing Boys Over Girls, and the Consequences of a World Full of Men, by investigative journalist Mara Hvistendahl, shows that 160 million baby girls have been victims of gendercide, mostly by abortion.

The surprising thing about this new study is that its author is pro-abortion.

It is this contradiction between the author’s support for abortion as a right and the facts and analysis she presents that makes this book important. In a review for the Wall Street Journal, Jonathan Last concludes his review of the book thus:

Despite the author's intentions, Unnatural Selection might be one of the most consequential books ever written in the campaign against abortion. It is aimed, like a heat-seeking missile, against the entire intellectual framework of "choice." For if "choice" is the moral imperative guiding abortion, then there is no way to take a stand against "gendercide." Aborting a baby because she is a girl is no different from aborting a baby because she has Down syndrome or because the mother's "mental health" requires it. Choice is choice. One Indian abortionist tells Ms. Hvistendahl: "I have patients who come and say 'I want to abort because if this baby is born it will be a Gemini, but I want a Libra.' "

This is where choice leads. This is where choice has already led. Ms. Hvistendahl may wish the matter otherwise, but there are only two alternatives: Restrict abortion or accept the slaughter of millions of baby girls and the calamities that are likely to come with it.

To watch a an interview with Jonathan Last who reviewed the book for the The Wall Street Journal, click here

To read the The Wall Street Journal review, click here

Jun 21, 2011

Unnatural Selection

163 million girls, who by biological averages should have been born, are missing from the world".Read the interesting review in the Wall Street Journal of a new book "Unnatural Selection" by Mara Hvistendahl here

Women's Rights Without Frontiers

Reggie Littlejohn is President of Women's Rights Without Frontiers, an international coalition that opposes forced abortion and sexual slavery in China. One of their immediate goals is to raise public awareness regarding the coercive enforcement of China’s One Child Policy.

Watch the video here.

Mar 31, 2011

Charity aims to halt daughter abortions

A Cheshire businessman has set up a charity which aims to prevent families in India aborting baby girls. Kulwant Singh Dhaliwal became involved when he visited the Indian village where he was born and noticed most children in a school class were boys. He is now trying to help residents in Bir Rarke in the state of Punjab. Part of the charity's aim is to support families who might face the extra costs of raising a daughter.

Mr Dhaliwal, from Appleton, Warrington, decided to help his village when he retired after selling a chain of 16 fashion shops in Greater Manchester. And he was horrified to discover that foeticide was the reason boys made up 70% of the children in the rural community which has a population of around 3,000. Parents would go to doctors who had ultrasound machines to discover their unborn baby's sex - and if it was a girl they would have it aborted.
Many parents blame the dowry system as one reason why they do not want girls as they cannot afford to marry them off.

Mr Dhaliwal decided to adopt the village and asked families not to abort their girls in favour of boys. He said: "I told them all I would look after your daughters, I would pay for the education and health care, I would ensure that they had jobs and when the time came I would get them married off." He added since he started his project there are now more girls born in the village than boys.

But this is the exception according to, Professor Sonia Balhotra, from the University of Bristol, who has just published a paper that shows each year in India around 500,000 girls are aborted because of foetal sex selection.

Child Welfare India has over 100 staff who work in Delhi, Punjab and Haryana. Chief executive Deepa Bajaj said the government has developed some schemes to try to stop this practice and it is having some success. One scheme gives cash to the mother if she gives birth in hospital as a way of tracking babies, another will give 100,000 rupees to a child who reaches the age of 18 and completes her education. "Money is a big incentive and many parents should realise that girls don't always cost money, they could actually provide much needed funds for the family in later life".

And Mr Dhaliwal believes Indians living in the UK are also to blame by going back to India to find brides for their sons. "We go back and ask for too much money in dowry payments, we should not ask for anything at all. In fact we should be using our own money to help these families not crippling them with debt," he said.

This article appeared on BBC News on 29th March 2011. See here

Mar 22, 2011

Coerced Abortion: China's coerced abortions violate human rights. Gay Mitchell MEP

"Any woman being forced or coerced against her will into terminating a pregnancy is a human rights atrocity. Unfortunately, human rights experts agree that this cruel practice remains very prevalent in China where the Communist government continues to impose its One-Child Policy", Gay Mitchell MEP said.

The Dublin MEP was speaking ahead of a meeting of the European Parliament's Working Group on Human Dignity today, 22 March, which will be addressed by Dr Reggie Littlejohn, President of Women's Rights Without Frontiers and an expert on China's One-Child Policy for Human Rights Without Frontiers.

"Dr Littlejohn has previously relayed the horrifying experiences endured by women in China. They include accounts of a woman being dragged from her home and forced into abortion as late into her pregnancy as nine months, followed by sterilisation because no birth permit was obtained. That is a clear breach of basic human rights and the right to life", Mr Mitchell continued.

"The Chinese Communist Party purports to have reviewed its One-Child Policy but such changes are questionable. It would also have the world believe that compliance with the One-Child Policy is voluntary. However, according to reports by Amnesty International and other reputable research, the One-Child Policy remains coercive and encompasses forced abortion, forced sterilisation, detention of family members until the illegally pregnant woman gives herself up for an abortion. Job loss, financial pressure and the destruction of homes often result for those who escape forced abortion."

Mr Mitchell, who is Chairman of the Working Group on Human Dignity, considers today's presentation by Dr Littlejohn an essential platform which policymakers can work from. "Coerced abortion is a violation of human rights that must be condemned as we work towards raising awareness of the practice with the ultimate goal of eradicating the brutal policy that enforces it."

To view the full press statement click here

Mar 6, 2011

According to this Newsweek article, the practice of Gendercide - the abortion of baby girls because they are girls - means that by the time today’s Chinese newborns reach adulthood, there will be a
chronic shortage of women. What unintended consequences will this have?

Read the Newsweek article here