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European Parliament adopts report to combat Gendercide


On October 8 the European Parliament adopted the report “Gendercide – the missing women?” authored by Cypriote Social Democrat MEP Antigoni Papadopoulou.

The overarching aim of the report is to stop the practice of “Gendercide”, defined in the report as “sex-neutral term referring to the systematic, deliberate and gender-based mass killing of people belonging to a particular sex (…)”.

Promotion of an educational and social environment where women and men are equal, prevention of sex selection as a business, and combating discrimination against girls or unborn female foetuses are just some of the proposals of the resolution. It is the first time ever the European Parliament has dealt with this subject. A number of MEPs who spoke on the subject mentioned the importance to tackle the persisting problem of son-preference and to ensure the empowerment of women and girls in society by guaranteeing their rights, their health and their access to education.

What are the main aspects of the report?

Most importantly, it emphasises the core reasons of why Gendercide is still persistent in many societies: son preference, gender inequality and a deeply rooted and persisting discrimination against daughters, women and girls.

It stresses that Gendercide remains a crime and a severe violation of human rights which can only be abolished when governments start tackling the root causes of son preference such as property inheritance, continuance of family name and lineage, the reliance of ageing parents on sons for economic support and start promoting the value and rights of women in society.

It proposes concrete measures to end Gendercide, such as combating persisting obstacles discriminating against girls, ensuring inheritance rights for women, providing economic, educational and political empowerment to women and girls and abolishing the dowry system.

It clearly stresses that legislation to manage or limit sex selection must protect the right of women to have access to legitimate sexual and reproductive health technologies and services such as ultrasound, DNA blood testing and safe abortion services where legal.

It calls on governments to improve women’s access to health care, in particular prenatal and maternal care, education, agriculture, credit and microloans, economic opportunities and property.


Text of the Report as it was adopted by the EPs Women’s Rights and Gender Equality Committee in June 2013

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