Nobel Prize-Winner Takes on Gendercide

“You have to begin with the optimism that you can make a difference.” As Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen concluded his speech, the audience rose to its feet, honoring him with thunderous applause for sounding the alarm on sex ratio imbalances and advocating for the world’s poorest, most voiceless women. Professor Sen addressed the subject of gendercide at the University of Texas at Dallas on Friday, April 24 in a lecture entitled “Women: Survival and Empowerment.”

Amartya Sen’s Distinctions Include:

Nobel Prize in Economics, 1998
“World’s 50 Most Influential People,” Time Magazine
“Third Most Influential Thought Leader of 2014” GDI
Professor of Economics & Philosophy, Harvard  University
First Scholar to Measure Gendercide

Much of Sen’s work has focused on the economics of poverty, famine, and development. Equally important, Amartya Sen was the first person to measure the number of “missing women” in the world. In 1990, using data from the recent world census, he estimated that an astonishing 100 million women were “demographically missing” from the human population, meaning that they had perished abnormally as compared with men. The United Nations Population Fund then took on the task of tracking and monitoring this problem. Presently, they put the number of missing women at 117 million.

Event Highlights

Sen pointed out that gender inequality takes several forms. In some instances, it is an outright hostility of mindset that sees women as “a different type of human being.” In others it is “deprivation of women’s effective agency,” attributable to the fact that women lack the freedom to think, the freedom to question, and the freedom to do both of these in an informed, critical, and independent way.

Turning to the subject of women’s empowerment, Professor Sen focused on a trio of solutions — girls’ education, paid employment for women, and maternal/reproductive healthcare. These are measures he suggested decades ago and continues to champion.

Our Partners

The Gendercide Awareness Project is proud to have organized the coalition that engaged Amartya Sen to speak on this subject. Wonderful teamwork with the UT Dallas Asia Center, South Asia Democracy Watch, and the UT Dallas School for Economic, Political, and Policy Sciences turned the dream into a reality.

Moving Forward

Photo Credit: Gendercide Awareness Project
Photo Credit: Gendercide Awareness Project

Amartya Sen’s appearance in Dallas was successful beyond our wildest dreams! Over seven hundred people attended despite a tornado watch! We had a packed hall, two standing ovations, visitors thronging our exhibit, and so much energy and enthusiasm from the attendees! Many people approached us afterward to say they wanted to help or get involved.

Amartya Sen energized us. Working with the our presenting partners, our sponsors, and the nearly 20 university and community organizations who supported us in this endeavor, we plan to leverage this energy and enthusiasm and turn it into action. Professor Sen’s appearance marks only the beginning.  To see how the Gendercide Awareness Project is tackling gendercide and women’s empowerment, please read our post below or go to our website. And please follow us on Facebook and Twitter!

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Category: Rights
Tagged with: education    Empowerment    female feticide    femicide    gender imbalance    gendercide    sex ratio imbalance

Gendercide Awareness Project

The Gendercide Awareness Project raises awareness and action to combat the global elimination of females resulting from sex-selective abortion, female infanticide, needless maternal death, and (for older women) lack of access to food and shelter. We call this “gendercide.” We tackle it with three A’s: AWARENESS – Did you know 117 million women are missing? That’s according to the United Nations Population Fund. That’s more deaths than World Wars I and II combined. ACTION – We offer modest financial support to at-risk women. We commission baby booties from women’s cooperatives overseas, paying fair prices. ART –That’s what we do with the baby booties. We are creating an art exhibit using 11,700 pairs of handmade baby booties from around the world. Each pair represents 10,000 missing women. The art exhibit leads directly to a take-action exhibit where we introduce visitors to reputable nonprofits that educate girls, economically empower women, and provide women’s healthcare.

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