In almost every country around the world (if not every country) there is a decline in fertility and an increase in sex preference/ sex imbalance. A notable example is China where a “one baby policy” is strictly enforced through violence (by both local and state authorities), coerced abortions and sex preference towards the male gender rather than the female gender. This is a serious global issue that is affecting families and the female population. The amount of missing female children worldwide is astronomical as a whole but does vary by country.
I attended an event titled, “Security Implications of the Global War on Baby Girls” by Dr. Susan Yoshihara. Dr. Yoshihara outlined for the audience various causes and solutions about this serious problem of sex preference and sex imbalance. Families, be it by cultural or personal views prefer one sex or another. The male gender has become the predominate preference of families throughout the world. Cultural values and technology has been working against women in the fight against sex preference. Technologies such as ultrasound and In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) has helped determine the sex of babies and in turn helped strengthen sex imbalance.
With a growing decline of women worldwide due to cultural values and technology, women’s security has also been at risk. Women are becoming the target of human traffickers on a regular basis. These women are often abducted and sold to men in different countries or provinces within the same country to satisfy the sex imbalance in different places. Families are being torn apart by human traffickers, cultural values and state policies.
We must stand together and help women and families worldwide fight the growing decline of fertility and increase in sex preference and sex imbalance. Babies regardless of sex deserve the right to be born and live. A woman should not be forced into a coerced abortion because it is cultural unacceptable to have a female baby rather than a male. Women should have the right to become mothers and not have to wilt under the pressure of social norms of what is acceptable and what is unacceptable. Who will usher in a new generation of young children if sex preference continues?
Day One of serving the International Youth Coalition here at the United Nations, I was given the chance to watch a film, which was presented by the Holy See Mission. The movie, which is called, Nefarious: Merchant of Souls; shows an in-depth behind the scenes portrayal of the sex trafficking and legal prostitution industry. The dangers of sex trafficking is dangerous, but also an area which is not given much focus and attention during meetings at the United Nations. Nations are legalizing prostitution (even as you sit here and read this blog, one country around the world is legalizing prostitution), and the legalization of prostitution has shown to increase the sex trafficking industry. This increase has gone unnoticed by local authorities and state governments because of the secrecy and limited resources in protecting these women from pimps and the mafia.
When a regular, everyday John Doe or Jane Doe sees a prostitute on the street we (not all but some if not many people) become disgusted and call the prostitute names such as whore and slut. Little do these everyday people know that a prostitute can be caught up in a network of illegal sex trafficking and being forced into prostitution; it is hard for an everyday individual and local/state authorities to distinguish between a commercial prostitution and a prostitute engaged in sex trafficking. For many, prostitution has now become a way of life and not something they wanted to do. No woman on this earth believes it is their personal duty to engage in various sexual acts for the payment of money, shelter, clothes, food or anything of value really.
Sex trafficking occurs and has gained strength through legalization of prostitution and this form of legalization has put thousands to millions of young women at danger. The danger ranges from physical, spiritual and mental harm. Young women are being forced and coerced into the sex industry leaving them scarred and afraid while men are making profit. We cannot continue to keep risking the lives of women through the legalization of prostitution. We must keep fighting the battle of legalization of prostitution so these young women from the favela’s of Brazil to the streets of New York City to the slums of India can live a pure life and become educated and help usher in a new world of young women as sisters, parents, aunts and grandmothers.
As, Margareta Winberg, the Former Deputy Prime Minister of Sweden said, “I believe that we will never succeed in combating trafficking in women if we do not simultaneously work to abolish prostitution and the sexual exploitation of women and children.” We (man and women alike) should take up the battle of protecting women and children from the harms of the sex industry. And as Mother Theresa once said, “To keep a lamp burning, we have to keep putting oil in it.” We as the International Youth Coalition must continue to help various missions and NGOs fight the battle against the legalization of prostitution and sex trafficking industry.