M. W. I. A: Missing Women In Action
Author: Christina Davis
Date: October 30, 2014
In the classic article, More Than 100 Million Women Are Missing, Amartya Sen brilliantly
articulates the problem of the declining number of women in the world's population.
Here, he presents an analysis of the status quo that examines the reason for the diminishing
number of women in the world. Through a clear, effective presentation, he encourages
increased research into the population of women on the international scene before
policy is enacted.
Sen begins his analysis of the world population by comparing the genetic qualities
of men and women. Despite being better genetically geared for survival than men, women
are fewer in number throughout the world. Sen recognizes that lower income countries
(LICs) do not offer proper medical assistance and healthcare for women within their
borders, which accounts for a major diminishment in the international population of
women. Since LICs have the majority of the world's population but also the smallest
access to healthcare, Sen concludes that womens' survival rates greatly suffer.
One of Sen's strongest points is his critique of the statement that sexism and economic
development problems have limited the population of women to grow. He states that
the former argument does not take into account the amount of political persons in
Asia in the past few decades that have been women, despite limited access to education,
therein disproving the statement that sexism dominates the Middle East and Asia. As
for economic difficulties, Sen states that such an argument is non-unique at the international
scale, as it is difficult to define countries with different economic troubles due
to societal and cultural differences and influences.
Though sexism and economic development issues do not seem to be limiting the survival
rates of women in the world, Sen argues that employment directly affects women. He
states that there is a correlation between women working and having better survival.
By having work, an unexplained, but consistent observation is made the more women
have access to gainful employment and use it, their survival rates increase.
An example Sen employs to illustrate his reasons for supporting his particular conclusion
of a need for increased research in the decreasing population of women in the world
is the country of China. According to Sen's analysis, the population of women suffers
due to the regulation of family members, especially gender defined regulations, no
access to quality healthcare, and little opportunities for skilled employment.
Finally, Sen concludes that the diminishing population of women in the world must
be addressed by additional research. Since specific social and cultural circumstances
affect the overall population of women in a country, as seen in the example of China,
more analysis must be undertaken before policy can be enacted. Since women are neglected
in the areas of nutrition, medicine, and healthcare, Sen claims that for action to
be formulated, more research is necessary for success.
The hypothesis that Sen presents in More Than 100 Million Women Are Missing is accurately
represented in a logical, factual manner. Instead of abstracting from the cited data,
he calls for increased research in the diverse study of population development before
sufficient action can be undertaken. By bringing the issue of the diminishing female
population to the table, Sen initiates the necessary discussion to increase action
and research into the meager survival of the women of the world.