YEREVAN, Armenia—At a press conference in Armenia yesterday, Prof. Razmik Abrahamyan, Director at the Institute for Reproductive Health, Perinatology, Obstetrics and Gynecology, and Mr. Garik Hayrapetyan, UNFPA Armenia Assistant Representative, presented the results from the “Prevalence and Reasons of Prenatal Sex Selection” Report.
As the speakers noted, the report brings to light both positive and alarming findings. In terms of safe motherhood, for example, the study suggests that women of reproductive age are having children at a more favorable reproductive age, between the ages of 19 to 35 years. Moreover, the vast majority of respondents (99.8 per cent) indicated that their first pregnancy was wanted.
Despite the positive findings, however, the report does bring to light an alarming trend in Armenian society. In particular, the study suggests that the general public prefers having boys much more than having girls – roughly six times more. Not surprisingly, this preference tends to be bigger in rural areas. According to the report, 0.8 per cent of 900,000 Armenian women of reproductive age have had a sex selective abortion in the last five years. This amounts to the loss of 1400 potential mothers every year in Armenia.
While the statistics do show a clear preference for having boys, the findings aren’t so black and white. For example, while the preference during pregnancy is strongly skewed towards having boys, respondents indicated that once the children were born, they treated their girls no differently than their boys. And while the percentage is quite small (only six per cent), some families do in fact prefer having girls.
The study took place during a one-month period from July – August 2011, and includes both quantitative and qualitative analysis of data collected from 2830 households.
For additional information, please contact:
Mr. Mher Manukyan, Communication Assistant, UNFPA Armenia
Phone: (+374 10) 54 34 17
In the Media:
-BBC News Europe coverage (with video)
-France 24 International News coverage
-Armenia Public Radio coverage of press conference
-UNFPA Armenia press release