There are currently 100 million missing women across Asia, according to a new global report by Gospel For Asia (GFA), a Christian organisation supporting the poor across the Asian continent.
Through a series of surveys, GFA found that 100 million women and girls who should be alive today “simply don’t exist”.
The study suggests that gender inequality is a large contributing factor in the disappearance of many of these females who fall victim to trafficking, prostitution sex and selective abortions.
GFA’s Vice President, Bishop Daniel Punnose told Premier that cultural traditions such as dowries – a payment that is given for the marriage of a daughter – also makes girls less desirable to mums and dads.
He said: “Families that have multiple girls are doomed to a life of poverty because there’s no way that they can pay enough money to be able to get out by getting the girls married off.
“And so the natural logical thing for them is to say we want more boys and our families and girls because that is a way of survival.”
The report also found that one in every 70 women dies in childbirth in India due to malnourishment and 16 million females there are sex slaves.
Bishop Daniel added: “It’s a compounded situation of both physical and emotional oppression.
“It’s through providing opportunities within local communities where people can lift themselves out of the poverty stricken situation [that we can help], but also having the means and tools that they need to be able to get an education.”
Read more about the Gospel for Asia special report on the 100 Million ‘Missing Women’ and the Aftermath of Acute Gender Imbalance.