Missing Women in the South Caucasus

Missing Women in the South Caucasus

Date: 01-02-2014 - 01-03-2014
Status: Completed
Funder: World Bank
Impact area: Gender Demography
Missing Women in the South Caucasus

Project objective

CRRC-Armenia with the support of the World Bank (WB) launched the project on Missing Women in the South Caucasus to explore the son preference and sex selective abortions in Armenia.

The issue of “missing women” – women who would have been born (or survived infancy) if there hadn’t been efforts to prevent their birth or survival past infancy – has received attention globally since the 1990s. The reproductive patterns in South Caucasus shifted with the independence of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia in 1991. Even considering the traditional male preferences at birth, the increasing imbalance of sex ratio may deepen gender inequality and injustice in the societies of the countries. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, a highly skewed sex ratio at birth has emerged in the South Caucasus. Sex ratios in Armenia (114.5), Azerbaijan (116.5) and Georgia (113.6) put our countries among those with the highest in the world. The figure that may not seem problematic in the short run may eventually end up with a range of serious problems considering low fertility rates and son preferences and increasing trend for technology to interfere with the support of the pattern.

Focus group discussions, life stories and expert interviews initiated by the World Bank and implemented by the CRRC-Armenian in cooperation with Department of Sociology at Yerevan State University (YSU) will provide an opportunity to shed light on the trends and consequences in the long run in Armenia.

Research design

The study consists of:

  • Focus group discussions in four communities (including capital city, urban and rural regions) of Armenia;
  • Life stories and expert interviews in the same communities where focus group discussions are conducted.

The transcribed summaries of focus group discussions, life stories and expert interviews will be submitted to the World Bank for further analysis.