News 08 Jan 13

Albania's Skewed Sex Ratio Highlights Women's Inequality

Data mapped by the Woman Stats Project, showing a marked imbalance between number of boys and girls born in Albania, highlight the continuing inequality between the sexes. 

Besar Likmeta
BIRN
Tirana
Miss Albania 2012, Adrola Dushi competes during the Swimsuit Competition of the 2012 Miss Universe | Photo by : AP /Miss Universe Organization L.P.

“One of the most important issues facing Albania is its sex ratio,” Valerie Hudson, a professor at Texas A&M University and a lead investigator in the Woman Stats Project, told Balkan Insight.

“The overall birth sex ratio in Albania is 111 boy babies born for every 100 girls, while the ratio in Tirana is 119 boys for every 100 girls, which puts Tirana on a par with China,” she added.

According to a study published in December by the UN Population Fund, UNFPA, and World Vision, sex imbalances have increased in Albania over the past two decades, due to the cultural preference for male heirs and the introduction of prenatal screening of the baby’s sex.  

The study also found that the decrease in the overall fertility rate and the lack of legal consequences for sex-selective abortions were contributing factors.  

Apart from sex imbalances, Hudson mapped out data collected through the Woman Stats Project through nine factors, including physical security, maternal mortality, government participation and educational disparity.

The data show that in Albania there is 11-to-15 per cent difference between boys and girls when it comes to enrolling in secondary education.

The representation of women in parliament, as well as in ministerial posts in Albania also remains low, at between 10-to-19 per cent, while women tend to have low levels of physical security.   

Trafficking in women and girls for sexual exploitation continues to be a problem, despite efforts by authorities to curb it over the past decade.

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