Five U.N. Agencies Issue Statement Urging Nations To Address Sex Selection Favoring Boys

“Five U.N. agencies have banded together to call for urgently addressing gender-biased sex selection favouring boys, a common practice in many parts of South, East and Central Asia that they say fuels a culture of discrimination and violence,” Pakistan’s Nation reports (6/15).

A joint statement issued on Tuesday by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), UNFPA, UNICEF, UN Women and the WHO “seeks to highlight the public health and human rights dimensions and implications of the problem and to provide recommendations on how best to take effective action” and calls for “renewed and concerted efforts … by governments and civil society, including efforts to address the deeply rooted gender discrimination against women and girls which lies at the heart of sex selection” (June 2011).

“‘States have an obligation to ensure that these injustices are addressed without exposing women to the risk of death or serious injury by denying them access to needed services such as safe abortion to the full extent of the law, and other healthcare services,’ said the UN agencies,” Agence France-Presse writes (6/14).