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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Gendercide is the systematic killing of members of a specific sex, either males or females.[1]

Contrasted with genocide which is defined as the deliberate extermination of a race of people,[2] gendercide is a sex-neutral term for the deliberate extermination of persons of a particular sex (or gender). Mary Anne Warren drew "an analogy between the concept of genocide" and the deliberate extermination of women in her 1985 book, Gendercide: The Implications of Sex Selection, analysing such subjects as female infanticide, maternal death, witch-hunts in early modern Europe, and other atrocities and abuses of women.



Sex-selective infanticide is common in cultures with strong preferences for male offspring. In China and northern India, 120 boys are now born for every 100 girls. Amartya Sen estimated in 1990 that over 100 million women had been aborted or killed in other ways.[3]

Women have been systematically killed in Guatemala City, Guatemala, and in Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, Mexico.[4] The murders in Juarez, also known as las muertas de Juárez ("The dead women of Juárez"), and Guatemala were reportedly not investigated by the local authorities. Most of the women were raped before being murdered and some were mutilated, tortured, and dismembered. In Guatemala City, about 20% of the over 500 women murdered in 2004 and 2005 were killed in pairs, due to a (lesbian) "intimate relationship", according to Claudia Acevedo of Lesbiradas.[citation needed]


During the 6th century BC, Ionian pirates massacred the men of Miletus, forced the Milesian women into marriage with them and settled the city of Miletus in the Milesian men's stead.[5] The Milesian women would neither eat with their new husbands nor address them by name.[6][7]

In the Bible, the Pharaoh ordered Hebrew midwives to kill all of the male children at birth.

Matthew 2:16 states that Herod ordered the Massacre of the Innocents:

Then when Herod saw that he had been tricked by the magi, he became very enraged, and sent and slew all the male children who were in Bethlehem and all its vicinity, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had determined from the magi.

Matthew 2:16, New American Standard Bible

Pakistan targeted male intellectuals for extermination in the erstwhile province of East Pakistan (present day Bangladesh) during the 1971 Bangladesh atrocities[8] Male Gendercide was also carried out by Pol pot in Cambodia, resulting in a large percentage of Cambodia's population afterwards being women.[9] During the 1984 Anti-Sikh riots men were targeted overwhelmingly on account of them being breadwinners of the family.[9] More recent examples include the 1988 Anfal campaign against Kurdish men and boys[10][11] in Iraq and the Srebrenica massacre of Bosniak men and boys on July 12, 1995.[12][13]

See also


  1. ^ Warren, Mary Anne, Gendercide: The Implications of Sex Selection, ISBN 0847673308 
  2. ^ "Genocide." Oxford English Dictionary
  3. ^ Gendercide, The Economist, March 6th, 2010, 
  4. ^ Femicide and Gender Violence in Mexico, retrieved on May 28, 2007.
  5. ^ 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica
  6. ^ Connop Thirlwall, A History of Greece, p. 197, 
  7. ^ Larry Gonick, The Cartoon History of the Universe, p. 238 
  8. ^ Rounaq Jahan, "Genocide in Bangladesh", in Samuel Totten et al., eds., Century of Genocide, p298. R.J. Rummel writes: "By November [1971], the rebel guerrillas ... had wrested from the army control over 25 percent of East Pakistan, a success that led the Pakistan army to seek out those especially likely to join the resistance -- young boys. Sweeps were conducted of young men who were never seen again. Bodies of youths would be found in fields, floating down rivers, or near army camps. As can be imagined, this terrorized all young men and their families within reach of the army. Most between the ages of fifteen and twenty-five began to flee from one village to another and toward India. Many of those reluctant to leave their homes were forced to flee by mothers and sisters concerned for their safety." Rummel, Death By Government (New Brunswick, USA: Transaction Publishers, 1994), p329.
  9. ^ a b Jones, Adam (June 2000). "Gendercide and Genocide". Journal of Genocide Research 2 (2): 185–211. 
  10. ^ The Crimes of Saddam Hussein
  11. ^ Koreme Before The Anfal Campaign
  12. ^ Srebrenica Timeline
  13. ^ Serbians Still Divided Over Srebrenica Massacre


  • Warren, Mary Anne (1985). Gendercide: The Implications of Sex Selection. Rowman & Allanheld. ISBN 0847673308. 
  • Russell, Diana E.H., ed.; Roberta A. Harmes (2001). Femicide in Global Perspective. Teachers College Press. ISBN 0807740470. 
  • Sanford, Victoria (2008). Guatemala : Del Genocidio Al Feminicidio/From Genocide to Femicide. F&G Editores. ISBN 9992261889. 

External links

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