The Concept of Missing Women

Topics: Amartya Sen, Gender, Demography Pages: 3 (1144 words) Published: January 4, 2011
In recent years, economics of inequality as a subject has become popular. Gender inequality could be considered as major one among these. Throughout the world, women are vital players in the economy. Over 800 million women are economically active worldwide, undertaking critical roles in industry, agriculture, manufacturing, and services, and as producers, traders, and owners and operators of micro- and small-enterprises. However, as many as 200 million women and girls around the world are demographically “missing” according to the United Nations estimate. “Missing women” are those who should be alive when all things are equal to men and women, but aren’t. The inevitable conclusion is that all things are not equal to men and women in some parts of the world”. The concept of missing women was first presented in 1992 by Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen. He used sex ratios to determine absolute numbers of missing women. He estimated the numbers for each country by calculating how many extra women would be alive were they receiving “similar care” to men. Sen in his development as freedom indicated that many more 100 million women are missing in these countries, comparing to the ratio on Europe and North America. In Europe and North America the ratio of women to men is around 1.05 or 1.06, which means women outnumber men in these regions. However in parts of Asia (mostly south and west and China), north Africa and Latin America the ratio is less than one. The female ration can be low as 0.95 in Egypt, 0.94 in Bangladesh, china and west asia, 0.93 in India or even 0.90 in Pakistan. Statistically more boys than girls are born and biologically women are considered to be hardier than men which lead to higher survival rate given same care. Then, why mortality rates for female higher than for males in these countries? One could think this is because of relative poverty of these nations. However, Sen noted that, dearth of women is not just because of poverty, because, in Africa...
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