PACE calls on South Caucasus countries to investigate reasons for skewed sex ratios at birth
Azerbaijan , Baku, Oct.4 / Trend, S.Dadashova /
Emphasizing that prenatal sex selection has reached "worrying proportions" in Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) asked those countries' authorities to "investigate the causes and reasons behind skewed sex ratios at birth", PACE website reported.
Whereas the natural sex ratio averages 105 boys to 100 girls, the figure in Albania, Armenia and Azerbaijan is 112 boys to 100 girls, while in Georgia it is 111 boys to 100 girls.
The resolution adopted, based on the report by Doris Stump (Switzerland, SOC), calls on these countries' authorities to "support training for medical staff on prenatal sex selection and its harmful consequences" and to "step up their efforts to raise the status of women in society". The governments concerned should collect reliable data about sex ratios at birth, including in different areas of a single country.
The Assembly called on all the member States "to introduce legislation with a view to prohibiting sex selection in the context of assisted reproduction technologies and legal abortion, except when it is justified to avoid a serious hereditary disease".
Commenting on the PACE's possible resolution to ban information about an unborn child's sex, Azerbaijani Ombudsman Elmira Akhundova said earlier that people should be enlightened on this matter.
"One should not ban abortion, but should enlighten people on this matter," she said.