Social Campaign against sex-selective abortions in Armenia
Sex-selective abortions in Armenia have claimed around 40,000 girls in the last 25 years. At this rate, this number will reach 96,000 by 2060. Armenian families have a strong preference for male children, often seen as “the heir to the family” and future caregivers of their elderly parents. The introduction of ultrasound imaging in the early 1990s allowed parents to learn the gender of the fetus, often against the law, before the legally determined 12 weeks. This novelty soon kicked off a long-lasting series of sex-selective abortions, disrupting the natural gender balance of children in Armenia. The desire to have a son is so prevalent that parents of multiple girls name their youngest Bavakan (literally: Enough) in hopes to stop the disappointing ‘streak of girl children’. With this name, girls are condemned to live their life with a constant reminder that their parents were longing for a boy. We decided that a more social, positive method would help improve the situation. One centered around empathy for the girl-child and ideas of fairness and equality. One that would benefit everyone – the children, their parents and the society in general. One that would make people feel proud for having daughters. And we would need a symbol. The statue of Mother Armenia seemed like the perfect one.