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Podcast: Skewed sex ratios at birth – Europe’s social timebomb

A debate on pre-natal sex selection in favour of boys dominated proceedings on the first day of the Parliamentary Assembly.

The preference for boys has reached “worrying proportions” in Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia. Whereas the natural sex ratio averages 105 boys to 100 girls, the figure in Albania, Armenia and Azerbaijan is 112 boys to 100 girls, while in Georgia it is 111 boys to 100 girls.

In its adopted resolution, based on a report by Doris Stump, the assembly calls on these countries’ authorities to “support training for medical staff on prenatal sex selection and its harmful consequences” and wants increased “efforts to raise the status of women in society.”

The Assembly also called on all member states “to introduce legislation with a view to prohibiting sex selection in the context of assisted reproduction technologies and legal abortion, except when it is justified to avoid a serious hereditary disease.”

This podcast captures the main arguments of the debate over pre-natal selection, featuring key contributions from the parliamentarians Doris Stump, Tina Acketoft, Mike Hancock and Lajla Pernaska.

Lydie Err, from Luxembourg, set the tone for the debate by expressing her fears of a “gendercide” against women which, if continued, threatens Europe with a social timebomb.

The Essential

Video: Doris Stump responds to the adoption of her report. [en] [de]

News: Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia should investigate the reasons for their skewed sex ratios at birth

News: Commission set to boost gender equality

Information: Equality between women and men

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Webcast: Watch the Parliamentary Assembly Live!

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