126 Million Missing Women Posted January 8, 2019 by admin@interfaith


Dear Friends,

In honor of International Women’s Day (March 8), we publish monthly an article about women’s issues. This month, we bring another program from the November 2018 Parliament of the World’s Religions. The Gendercide Awareness Project set up an incredible display of booties. (See their video at gendgap.org.) Each bootie represents 10,000 women missing. The booties were made by women from all over the world. For more information go to the Gendercide Awareness Projects website, gendap.org.


126 Million Females Gone
The Gendercide Awareness Project (gendap.org)
Program at the Parliament of the World’s Religions

Each Bootie in the Display represents 10,000 Missing Women
(Picture by Interfaith Peace Project)

Video of the Display at the Parliament*

How many women are missing?

According to the United Nations in 2015, 126 million women are missing (dead) from the world population. This is 3.7% of the global female population…eliminated. (United Nations Population Division, World Population Prospects, the 2015 Revision) Each year 3.5 million women and girls are lost These women and girls perish due to social causes.

The biggest losses occur at the beginning and end of life:

  • Almost 50 % due to sex-selective abortion (female feticide)
  • Almost 30% of women over age 50, especially widows, die prematurely (United Nations Population Fund, World Health Organization.)

What is Gendercide?

Female gendercide is the perishing of females, young and old, due to human choice and behavior.

  • Sex-selective abortion to favor boys over girls
  • Female Infanticide
  • Gross neglect of young girls
  • Unnecessary maternal death
  • Lack of access to food and shelter by older women
  • Socially sanctioned violence against women

What Can We Do?

Educate a Girl: A girl with a 5th grade education will:

  • Marry at a later age
  • Have fewer children
  • Live without HIV/AIDS
  • Find employment later in life
  • Seek medical care
  • Vote in her community
  • Gain access to credit

-World Bank

 End Child Marriage

Educating girls helps delay marriage. Parents generally don’t marry off daughters who are still in school. This gives the girl a chance to learn and become more self-reliant.

Provide Maternal Health Care

When a mother dies in childbirth, she leaves all her children motherless, creating a crisis in the community. The cost of maternal healthcare is trivial in comparison Even poor countries can afford this. Sri Lanka, for example, saw its maternal death rates drop dramatically after making maternal health care free for all women.

Protect Elderly Women

We lose 1,000,000 widows and older women per year. In many traditional societies, women can neither own nor inherit property and wealth. Wealth is controlled by male members of the family, leaving widows extremely vulnerable. Each year one million women over age 50 perish because they cannot access food and shelter in the same way as men. In coming decades, older women will constitute an even larger proportion of the world’s “missing” women. This is due to increasing life expectancies and the general aging of the world population.

Statistics were updated in 2015 after the video was made
  • 126 million women and girls are now “missing” from the world population – rather than the 117 million cited in the video.
  • That amounts to 3.7% of the world’s female population.  (The video says 3.2%.)
Reprinted with permission from the Gendercide Awareness Project