With Donald Trump recently becoming president after he was caught on tape claiming he would grab women ‘by the pussy’, it recently got me thinking about gender ratio throughout the world and whether it has anything to do with gender equality. Biologically women are more likely to live longer as they resist disease better and in historical terms men would be more likely to fight in a war. When considering this information you may come to the conclusion that there should be more women in the world than men. What’s interesting however is that in reality, there are actually more men in the world than there are women. According to a government article ‘In 2004, males accounted for 50.4% of the global total’, yet in certain areas of the globe the average ratio is much higher.
In parts of Asia and North Africa, male babies are seen to be more desirable. This ideology comes not only from tradition but the views on social worth of men and women; men can go out and earn a better wage, and when women get married they tend to leave their original family to join that of their husbands. For this reason women are seen as more of an economical burden on a family where as men are seen to add more to the family’s wealth. Thus making women more likely to abort female foetus’ or neglect their female children in favour of their male children.
Female foetul abortion is seen especially in places like China where the one child policy was in place, the parents would prefer their one child to be male and so would be more likely to abort a female. According to an article I read, throughout the world on average for every 100 women that are born, there is roughly between 103-107 men. Yet in regards to China per 100 women there is 118 men. This may seem like an outrage, to think that someone may actually abort their child just due to the child’s gender – how can sexism still be so prominent in the 21st century? It’s been over 100 years since the suffragettes died for the women’s vote in the UK! However, it is important to remember that different countries have different cultures; gender equality may not be as quickly achievable in countries that are less developed and have higher rates of poverty. More to the point, as I mentioned earlier in regards to Donald Trump recently becoming President of the USA, perhaps sexism is still prominent even in the western world where traditions are not held on to so tightly.
Looking at things from a different aspect though, what does this mean for population growth? The worry in China is that as the male population grows and the female population struggles to keep up, it leads to a higher rate of men who are unable to get married – simply because there aren’t enough women – which in turn leads to a higher rate of violent and antisocial behaviours. This begs the question: could it possibly lead to a slower rate of population growth? If there are less women getting pregnant, and more men being born – perhaps this could be a solution to China’s overpopulation problem. It’s certainly interesting to consider what future China holds, only time will tell.