CONFESSION ROOM / "Next time with a girl" as a response to selective abortion

2023-03-25 14:17:24Dhoma e rrëfimit SHKRUAR NGA ENTELA RESULI
Boy or girl? What do Albanians prefer?

By Entela Resuli

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Today we will talk about abortion, gender-based abortion that causes a non-biological ratio at birth between women and men .


The desire to have at least one male offspring in the family is the main cause of intentional abortions of baby girls in Albania.

The natural sex ratio of human births is an average of 105 boys per 100 girls, while in Albania it is 109 per 100, ranking Albania at the top of Europe for the preference for boys over girls.

Although the situation has improved compared to 15 years ago, Albanian families still prefer to have boys, sometimes choosing the fetus or interfering in this process, through selective abortion.

The studies also show the fact that the demand for boys stems from the importance of passing on the family name and identity to subsequent generations.

Despite the ideas that everyone has about different provinces, in the UNFPA report it is emphasized that selective abortion is widespread throughout Albania, with an emphasis on urban areas, where there is the greatest concentration of the population.

Girls in our society grow up with distorted ideas that, if you are a boy, you have more value in the family and society.

These ideas come to them directly and indirectly from the entire environment where they grow up, which still carries harmful practices, which dictate that the boy is the one who will keep the family afloat and push forward the development.

CONFESSION ROOM / "Next time with a girl" as a response to selective
Elsona Agolli, specialist at UNFPA

Elsona Agolli, specialist at UNFPA, told Vox News that " despite the achievements in the field of health, Albania continues to have some problems related to its economic level and closely related to the tradition and norms shared by Albanians in their families. Among these, in particular, we can mention gender-based abortion, which causes a non-biological ratio at birth between women and men."

In the annual report "Women and Men" of INSTAT, it was pointed out that this gender ratio at birth continues to be unbalanced, 100 girls: 108 boys, which shows that the harmful practice continues to occur in Albania.

We have an improvement from the in-depth analysis that UNFPA did a decade ago, where the ratio was 100 girls:111/112 boys, but still the phenomenon continues in some areas of Albania".

Different cities also have different attitudes towards selective abortion and therefore the figures are not the same.

Elsona tells us that "In the analysis we did according to the data available from INSTAT, we noticed that while at the national level the gender ratio at birth is 108.1 boys for 100 girls, in:

- Berat shows 112 boys for 100 girls

- Durrës, 110 boys for 100 girls

- Fier, 111 boys for 100 girls

- Lezha 110 boys for 100 girls

The preference for a boy is associated with a backward mentality and is underestimated by those who carry it, especially when it is noticed that in reality the structure of the large family is changing completely, where parents no longer live with their children, in this case it is about the boy or boys".

With a son or daughter, the elderly are living alone

More and more elderly couples live alone while children move to cities or emigrate. UNFPA, as a sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights agency, has for years supported interventions to prevent harmful practices that undermine gender equality and undermine the empowerment of girls and women.

" The work in health education with a focus on comprehensive sexual education, or the many years of work against gender-based violence, including campaigns such as "Next time with girls", the involvement of boys and men in the fight against gender-based violence, we think are contributing to emancipation of society as a whole and positive change in mindset, traditions and gender stereotypes with the aim that girls are as desired as boys from conception.

In the families that are now giving birth to only one child, we wish that this desire is for healthy children, and not abortions until the birth of the boy is realized. The girl is as precious and precious as the boy! What matters is a healthy pregnancy, a healthy birth, not the sex of the child that is expected to make the family happy! "- says Elsona, who does not forget to point out that the natural sex ratio at birth is about 105 boys for 100 girls.

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