Abort until a son is born.
Having a girl is bad news in China and India, where female fetuses are too often aborted on purpose. But, according to a new German documentary, even Europe is not free of the horrid practice sometimes called "gendercide."
Die Welt reports that the documentary entitled So Long As It's A Boy, broadcast last week on the German-language Central European 3sat network, reveals stories of the willful abortion of female fetuses around the world, including Albania, Armenia and even in Indian communities within the UK.
There already is a worldwide deficit of 160 million women, but it will be years before the consequences of the continued practice are felt. Millions of men will not be able to find wives.
China and India spring to mind when contemplating the phenomenon, note reporters Birgit Wuthe und Magdalena Schüssler, but according to the report, the third-highest rate of gendercide in the world is actually much closer to us: Albania. High numbers of abortions of female fetuses in this country may be explained by the trend towards smaller families and the weight of tradition: Ideally, a couple in Albania has two children, and one of them is male, writes Die Welt.
Monda, an Albanian woman, reveals in the broadcast that she has already had three abortions, because they would have been girls. Her husband started beating her when she failed to give him sons, and because women are still financially dependent on their husbands, she couldn't flee.
In Armenia, "gendercide" has been publicly recognized as a problem. The country is trying to avoid abortions of female fetuses by providing state subsidies to families with daughters.