Albania: girl ratio 'suffers' in sex selective abortions

by Briseida Mema

"It's another girl," Roza said to the doctor, tears streaming down her pale face. "I cannot keep it, doctor, I already have three daughters," she implored.

The tiny, 28-year-old woman whose hair is already streaked with grey is more than four months pregnant -- beyond the nation's legal abortion limit -- but says she is ready to risk her life to make sure this baby is not born.

It is an all too frequent scene in Albania where the Council of Europe, the continent's 47-member state democracy and rights watchdog, warns that sex have led to boys outnumbering girls 112 to 100 -- out of sync with the biological standard at birth of 104-106 males to every 100 females.

Sex selective abortions -- and in earlier times infanticide -- have been cited as an indicator for skewed sex ratios in some Asian nations where tradition prefers sons. United Nations figures show China, India and Vietnam have the biggest imbalance, but the Council of Europe warns that the practice has spread to Europe -- and has singled out Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia.

"Traditionally Albanian families have favoured boys over girls for two main reasons: the inheritance of the family name and the prospect of boys growing up to become breadwinners," a 2005 report by the UN Development Programme (UNDP) said.

"It is a mentality that has remained," said Aferdita Onuzi, a noted here. "In certain regions a girl is sometimes seen as a heavy burden."

It is also a personal nightmare for women like Roza.

"Last time, my husband almost killed me, he became violent when he found out that I could not give him a son, and my mother-in-law also," the young woman said.

Her husband erupted in fury when he heard another girl was on its way, threatening to chase his wife and daughters from his home. "Are you sure?" he screamed at the doctor. "In our family we have only boys."

Albania legalised abortion on the eve of the communist regime's fall in the 1990s. It is allowed until the 12th week of pregnancy. After that, "therapeutic" abortions can only be performed if three different doctors have assessed a case and given the go-ahead.

While sex selection as a reason for abortion is expressly forbidden, there are no specific sanctions for breaching the law, local rights groups said. Since 2002, the availability of foetal sex screening has made it a frequent method for choosing the sex of one's child, according to these sources.

At only some 15 euros ($20), an ultrasound is within the reach of most budgets. And abortions, which cost around 150 euros in a private clinic, are much cheaper than going through an in vitro fertilisation process to sort sperm to ensure a male, which can run into thousands of euros.

Last month, the parliamentary assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) adopted a resolution stating that prenatal sex selection has reached "worrying proportions" in Albania.

World health agencies warn such imbalances can not only affect marriage and fertility patterns but could cause unrest among young men unable to find partners.

The Council called on members Albania, as well as the former communist states of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia, to investigate the reasons behind what it called their skewed sex ratios and to monitor birth rates to collect reliable date on the issue.

Tirana, however, rejects the Council's figures. The country, which hopes to become a candidate country for the European Union, says that average data for the period 1998-2010 shows 99.99 females were born for every 100 males -- within the biological norms.

Albania's Health Minister Petrit Vasili told AFP that "everything is strictly controlled in the hospitals" and insisted a preference for boys in rural areas "has not had any influence on the Albanian population's demographics".

In the PACE report, parliamentarian Doris Stump of Switzerland said that the Albanian authorities "do not consider the skewed birth ratio as a nationwide problem but a sporadic phenomenon limited to some remote areas".

She also deplored the lack of sanctions against the sex-selective abortions, which Albanian health workers like Rubena Moisiu, the head of Tirana's Koco Glozheni hospital, said can circumvent the law. "Some of these abortions are done in private clinics or by individuals who are not licenced to perform them," she noted.

For Moisiu, the solution is simple -- stop foetal sex screening.

"It is an open debate even in countries more developed than Albania. The doctors should not reveal a child's sex, because what is important for parents is that the baby is in good health," she said.

Yet now, the first question many Albanian women ask is: 'is it a boy or a girl,' and not 'is the baby healthy?'" she lamented.

"Some doctors come under enormous pressure from women to perform abortions when they see the foetus is female," she said. "It is that mentality that we have to change."

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ArtflDgr
not rated yet Nov 11, 2011
its more than tradition, they didnt just make it up out of the blue... the ones who didnt do it, didnt survive, so the tradition went on in those that did... the idea to use culture, tradition, and such to negate the potential that deep under there are rational reasons... maybe not reasons that the central planners who want to dictate the future where they do better dont like it... but then again, they shouldnt be fiddling in the first place so that the idea can go wrong in the first place... eh?
kochevnik
1 / 5 (1) Nov 11, 2011
Two things cause wars: Banksters and populations with an imbalance of young males.
Nerdyguy
not rated yet Nov 12, 2011
Two things cause wars: Banksters and populations with an imbalance of young males.


Two things cause the majority of your idiotic posts: your ego, and your ignorance.

There are many, many causes of war. Political ideology, access to water sources (e.g., sea routes), economic turmoil, brinksmanship, religious intolerance, accidents, access to resources, and let's not forget that old standby: cultural hatred.

These are just off the top of my head.

But, by all means, you go ahead with your "evil Jew banker" theory. Seems to be your most common answer to the issues that come into play on matters ranging from U.S. internet policy to climate change. Dang, those evil Jewish guys!
Vendicar_Decarian
1 / 5 (1) Nov 13, 2011
In a Capitalist Society they would produce more girls and sell them to china.

Their government should deregulate the sale of children so corporations can thrive.

ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (1) Nov 13, 2011
"Capitalism leads to the freedom of all individuals whether male or female by banishing the initiation of force from all relationships. Capitalism is the only system that leads to true equality an equality of rights (as opposed to an egalitarian equality of results).

Rights belong to all individuals equally. Under capitalism females have the same and equal political rights as males, since they have in principle an equal mental capacity to reason as males (though physically the average female is weaker). As capitalism is the social system that rewards though, under capitalism a woman can easily support herself, whereas in non-capitalist societies she was often looked upon as less than a male (physically in terms of brute strength she was)."
http://capitalism...y/women/
Note it is the socialist VD that advocates slavery.
kochevnik
not rated yet Nov 13, 2011
Two things cause wars: Banksters and populations with an imbalance of young males.
There are many, many causes of war.
I didn't know that Scientific American, from which I was quoting, was part of my "ego" and "ignorance." I guess you as a Texan know a lot more than scientists. As to your failed attempt to put words in my mouth, that's simply proof that you lost the argument and have nothing worthwhile to say. FYI most Zionists are xtian patsies like you. So there goes your loony conspiracy theory. Your support for the white collar criminal class is duly noted.
kochevnik
not rated yet Nov 13, 2011
"Capitalism leads to the freedom of all individuals"
Capitalism has nothng to do with rights. If you love capitalism so much I know of a few mobsters you would like to meet. Seems you have a lot to discuss.
Vendicar_Decarian
3 / 5 (2) Nov 14, 2011
"Capitalism leads to the freedom of all individuals whether male or female by banishing the initiation of force from all relationships." - RyggTard

Tell that to the Mafia.

"Under capitalism females have the same and equal political rights as males" - RyggTard

But only manage to earn 1/2 of what men do in the American Capitalist system.

"Rights belong to all individuals equally." - RyggTard

So since under Libertarian rule, since prostitution is protected commerce, so too is child prostitution.

Do children not have the same rights as adults in your Capitalist Libertarian Utopia RyggTard?

"As capitalism is the social system that rewards though, under capitalism a woman can easily support herself" - RyggTard

Through the sacred commerce of legal prostitution.
Just like Libertarian child prostitution.

Vendicar_Decarian
1 / 5 (1) Nov 14, 2011
In other threads RyggTard has expressed strong support for Sovereign Citizens.

Here is a good primer of what the Sovereign Citizen movement is all about. American Anti-American Terrorism.

It is the Patriot movement (Timothy McVeigh) of the 1980's Renamed.

http://www.cbsnew...7366128n

http://www.cbsnew...;housing
Nerdyguy
not rated yet Nov 15, 2011
Two things cause wars: Banksters and populations with an imbalance of young males.
There are many, many causes of war.
I didn't know that Scientific American, from which I was quoting, was part of my "ego" and "ignorance." I guess you as a Texan know a lot more than scientists. ...FYI most Zionists are xtian patsies like you. So there goes your loony conspiracy theory. Your support for the white collar criminal class is duly noted.
-Kochevik

Random thoughts:

1) I'm not a Texan.

2) Yes, it's true I have a good grasp of the many ways in which wars can start. As I said, there are many. Would you care to "quote" that Scientific American article so I may give you a proper reply?

3) Yes, we are aware you are a notorious hater of Jews.

4) Your attempts at hate speech should not be confused with rational discussion. Try using facts, logic, rational thought.

Try again!
ryggesogn2
not rated yet Nov 15, 2011
"Capitalism leads to the freedom of all individuals"
Capitalism has nothng to do with rights. If you love capitalism so much I know of a few mobsters you would like to meet. Seems you have a lot to discuss.

Organized crime is most similar to govts, not free markets.
ryggesogn2
not rated yet Nov 15, 2011
States and criminals depend and exercise violence to succeed.
Capitalists cannot and do not.
kochevnik
not rated yet Nov 15, 2011
Organized crime is most similar to govts, not free markets.
States and criminals depend and exercise violence to succeed.
Capitalists cannot and do not.
You're not even lying anymore. You're just making stuff up in a way that forms a complete sentence.
@Nerdyguy 3) Yes, we are aware you are a notorious hater of Jews.
Actually you xtians did a fairly bold attempt to wipe Jews off the face of the Earth with Catholic-traind Hitler and Catholic priest Himler, funded by GOP's Prescott Bush. Provide a link to document your insinuation. I'm sure that as a thorough researcher you will uncover some smoking guns, or at least make something up as you usually do. Anyway my Israeli friends and I should get a good laugh from your lunacy. One was in the IDF she loves stories about crazy right-wing Americans.
ryggesogn2
not rated yet Nov 15, 2011
Capitalism cannot exist in a coercive environment.
What is called crony 'capitalism' is a version of socialism.
Nerdyguy
not rated yet Nov 15, 2011
@Nerdyguy 3) Yes, we are aware you are a notorious hater of Jews.
Actually you xtians did a fairly bold attempt to wipe Jews off the face of the Earth with Catholic-traind Hitler and Catholic priest Himler, funded by GOP's Prescott Bush. Provide a link to document your insinuation. I'm sure that as a thorough researcher you will uncover some smoking guns, or at least make something up as you usually do. Anyway my Israeli friends and I should get a good laugh from your lunacy. One was in the IDF she loves stories about crazy right-wing Americans.

You sir, are beyond help. Out of your mind batshit crazy would be putting it too mildly.

Albanian girl sex selection articles and you are going on about xtians/Jews/Hitler/Catholics...

No f-ing idea what in the world you are yapping about. Provide a link? To what? For what?

You wouldn't understand right-wing if it bit you in the ass...