Press Release

Increasing the Role of Civil Society Organizations for Preventing Gender-biased Sex Selection Harmful Practice in Georgia

9 November 2017

On November 18, 2017, United Nations Populations Fund (UNFPA) and Network for Civic Engagement (NCCE) organized roundtable discussion on the topic of – Preventing Gender-biased Sex Selection Harmful Practice – Evidence and Recommendations

The meeting was attended by the representatives of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Georgia Country Office, Network for civic engagement (NCCE) and local civil society.

The meeting aimed to increase civil society engagement for Preventing Gender-biased Sex Selection Harmful Practice and to equip participants with the information and findings of the recent research on SRB trends in Georgia and its contextual dimensions, such as son preference, gender inequality and Gender-biased Sex Selection.

In the countries, where gender-biased sex selection harmful practice is widespread, the sex ratios at birth (SRB) are skewed in favor of boys, having negative social and demographic consequences. Patriarchal structures reinforce son preference and perpetuate a climate of violence and discrimination against women and girls in society. Declining fertility and rapid developments in the technology that allows parents to know the sex of the fetus have exacerbated this practice. Gender-biased sex selection in favor of boys is a symptom of pervasive social, cultural, political and economic injustices against girls and women and speak of a culture in which gender inequality is deeply rooted.

According to the 2010-2014 census based estimates in Georgia, the male to female ratio has become increasingly skewed reaching 109 male births per 100 female birth, while the maximum normal biological level of sex ratio at birth can be 100/106. The skewed sex ratio considerably increases in case of third child or more and reaches 100/140. SRB is skewed in Georgian regions as well, particularly in Kakheti, Kvemo Kartli, Samtskhe-Javakheti; In accordance to 2010-2014 data number of male births per 100 female birth is 113.8, while according to the birth parity progression, on the third birth this value is close to 145. According to statistics, if a family choses to have one child, 46% of the citizens prefer the child to be a boy, the gender is unimportant for 45 per cent and just 9 per cent would like to have a baby girl.

In light of the downward trend of the SRB in Georgia, strengthening the preventive measures is critical to encourage and sustain this trend. In this regard, collaboration with Civil Society Organizations and their engagement is of particular importance for prevention of this harmful practice.

The meeting was organized in the framework of United Nations Populations Fund (UNFPA) Global Programme to Prevent Son Preference and Undervaluing of Girls in Georgia, Funded by the EU.