Washington D.C., Sep 14, 2013 / 15:39 pm
A recent hearing before members of the U.S. House of Representatives examined the gender imbalance in India and its connection to human trafficking and mistreatment of women in the country.
"Sex-selective abortion and female infanticide have led to lopsided sex ratios," said Congressman Chris Smith (R-N.J.). "In parts of India, for example, 126 boys are born for every 100 girls."
"This in turn leads to a shortage of women, which then leads to trafficking in persons, bride selling and prostitution."
Smith leads the House congressional panel that oversees global health and human rights. He chaired a Sept. 10 hearing on the sex ratio disparity in India, the first of its kind in Congress.
The congressman explained that by "shining a light on what is happening in India with its missing girls, we hope to move toward a world where every woman is valued and respected because of her intrinsic dignity, and where every child is welcomed regardless of his or her sex."
Panelists at the hearing described the gender imbalance in India as a multi-faceted phenomenon, stemming from societal discrimination against women, influenced by international population control programs, and accomplished though sex-selective abortion, infanticide, and child neglect.