Many fewer baby girls are born in India and China than the odds would predict. LA Johnson/NPR
Many fewer baby girls are born in India and China than the odds would predict.
The world’s girls are healthier than ever. They live longer and more of them are going to school than at any time in history.
This story is part of our #15Girls series, profiling teens around the world. Read the stories here.
But most of them face discrimination simply because they are girls. The discrimination happens at every point in their lives.
In some cases, it starts even before they’re born, when parents decide to abort a pregnancy if the fetus is female.
A good way to get a sense of the progress — and the remaining gaps — in worldwide gender equality is by looking at the data. Numbers can tell a compelling story. The story we’re going to tell focuses on girls ages 10 to 19, an age range used by the World Bank and other groups to track populations. Worldwide, about 600 million girls fall into this age range. Nearly half of them live in just seven countries. Those countries are the focus of our story.
You might expect that there would be an even number of boys and girls in this age group in these seven countries.
But you’d be wrong.
The Missing Girls
Consider the girls who were never born.
On average, about 105 boys are born worldwide for every 100 girls. Girls tend to make up for this difference over time because of their greater resilience and resistance to disease.