* “Son preference, fertility and family structure”. In Nigeria, as in many other African countries, men have stronger ownership rights over land than women do. However, before heading to Europe, Johnny needed to take a side trip to Nigeria for a job interview. Having children in quick succession damages maternal health, since mothers need time to recover after giving birth. A Nigerian boy was tied to a cross for coming late to a private school in Ayetoro, Ogun State, south-west Nigeria on April 16, 2018. Son preference—widely documented in countries such as India, China, and Korea—is deeply rooted in social, economic, and cultural factors (Pande and Astone 2007). Figure 3 maps the magnitude of our indicator of gender preferences (α 1 + α 2) for countries in which α 1 and α 2 are jointly significant. This article appeared in the Middle East & Africa section of the print edition under the headline "Bring back the girls", Sign up to our free daily newsletter, The Economist today, Published since September 1843 to take part in “a severe contest between intelligence, which presses forward, and an unworthy, timid ignorance obstructing our progress.”. All rights reserved. Parents have no need of extra measures to ensure boys are born. Family Planning, 33 (4) 321-334. What are the advantages a male child has over a female child since both of them can take care of the family. By contrast, at its worst, China had 120 boys for every 100 girls. In Nigeria traditional practices have ensured that men retain material, social and moral dominance over women that they are simply unwilling to voluntarily relinquish. Using individual-level data for Nigeria, the paper shows that, compared to women with first-born sons, women with first-born daughters have (and desire) more children and are less … Enter the email address you signed up with and we'll email you a reset link. Nigeria’s sex ratio at birth is the natural one: 106 boys are born for every 100 girls (boys are more vulnerable to infant diseases, so this ratio ensures that equal numbers of the sexes reach puberty). Objectives: This study was designed to determine child-sex preference of women among an obstetric population in Nigeria, and to … These results can partly explain excess female mortality among adult women in Sub-Saharan Africa. Being in a polygamous household harms their health and their children’s because of competition for food in the home. SEX-SELECTIVE abortions are used round the world to discriminate in favour of boys. A statement issued today by OHCHR, UNFPA, UNICEF, UN Women and the WHO* reviews the evidence behind the causes, consequences and lessons learned regarding “son preference” or sex selection favouring boys in many parts of South, East and Central Asia, where ratios as high as 130 boys for every 100 girls have been observed. A man reacts as he reunites with his son in Katsina, Nigeria on December 18, 2020. Moreover, in Nigeria, there are plenty of both: the fertility rate is 6.0, meaning the average woman can expect to have six children, or three sons. Among women aged 30 to 49, those with first-born girls are more likely to be divorced, have a non-resident husband or be the head of a household. son preference, but women’s education and media exposure do make a difference. men have stronger ownership rights over land than women do, Evidence mounts that Eritrean forces are in Ethiopia, Jail for a Saudi woman who said women should drive, After 34 years, Uganda’s president has no intention of retiring. Keywords: human rights, Igbo custom, Nigeria, son preference, violation, women 1. They are less likely to use contraceptives. But households with girls do not foster boys: they keep on trying to have a son of their own. World Bank. Audio message says Nigeria’s Boko Haram behind abduction of hundreds of schoolboys in northwestern state of Katsina. The need for sons changes fertility patterns. 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