The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) expressed concerns against violence against women in the form of child marriage and gender-based sex selection around the world during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The United Nations Population Fund’s State of the World Population Report 2020, titled, ‘Against my will: defying the practices that harm women and girls and undermine equality’ estimated that 142 million girls are missing globally and 46 million girls are missing in India due to sex-selective abortion.
The report focusses on child marriage, son preference and gender-biased sex selection, and female genital mutilation.
The UNFPA Executive Director Dr Natalia Kanem said that 90% of the estimated 1.2 million missing female births annually worldwide due to gender-biased (prenatal) sex selection, is reported from India and China.
This period also saw a spike in the reports of child marriages taking across India, notably in Telangana.