A Galway politician has welcomed cross-party support for his private members’ motion on gendercide which was debated in the Seanad yesterday (Wednesday ).
Ahascragh born senator Rónán Mullen said gendercide, the practice of selective abortion, infanticide,s and fatal neglect of baby girls after birth, is one of the worst human rights abuses in the world today.
Independent senators Jillian van Turnhout, Professor John Crown, and Sinn Féin and Fianna Fáil senators have pledged support for the motion.
However, Senator Mullen, who has represented NUI graduates as an independent senator since 2007, criticised Government attempts to “water down” the motion by removing references to India and China - the countries he says where the practice is most endemic - and by deleting any mention of “selective abortion” of girl children.
“The Government’s failure to grasp the nettle on gendercide suggests a very unprincipled approach to human rights,” claimed Senator Mullen. “Whether they don’t want to make any critical noises about abortion or whether they don’t want to criticise India or China on the world stage the result is the same. A huge crime is being committed against girl children the world over and the Irish Government prefers to stay silent about it.”
He stated the gendercide is motivated by economic and social factors leading to prejudice against baby girls.
“It is by far and away the most widespread form of violent anti-female discrimination present in the world today. An estimated 160 million girls have been killed either before or after birth over the last three decades through gendercide, mainly in India and China but increasingly also in Europe.
“Only two weeks ago the parliamentary assembly of the Council of Europe adopted a resolution and recommendation condemning the practice of sex-selective abortions. The assembly warned of the social consequences of prenatal sex selection, namely population imbalances which lead to serious human rights violations such as forced prostitution, trafficking for the purposes of marriage or sexual exploitation, and massive social unrest.”
He claimed that while the scale of the problem has been comprehensively documented at UN level, in US Congressional reports as well as by reputable publications such as The Economist, Time and Newsweek, the Government has yet to make a clear statement against gendercide, either domestically or internationally.
“It’s time for them to make a clear statement that Ireland does not in any way tolerate gendercide and that we are committed to raising this issue in international fora. The Government must also ensure that recipients of Irish foreign aid do not promote gendercide. This was an issue that united opinion from across the political spectrum.”