Albania: Evidence of Illegal Sex-Selection Abortions
Monday, February 25, 2013 10:10 AM

The introduction of prenatal screening technology into a culture that prefers male heirs has led to evidence of sex-selection abortion practices.  Albania’s declining fertility rate and gender gap, in addition to the cultural preferences, points to the practice of female feticide. 

Under Albania’s 2002 reproductive health law, the use of prenatal screen technology to provide sex-selective abortions is not permitted.  While measures to strengthen the enforcement of the law are welcome, the government must also target the ingrained preference for male heirs, said Kristina Voko, a professor of psychology at the University of Tirana. 

Currently, boys outnumber girls by 112 to 100 in Albania.  Gjonca, a lecturer at the London School of Economics, said, “In the future [this practice] will create a surplus of men in the marriage market, triggering migration among single men and further discrimination of women by lowering the age of marriage and re-introducing arranged marriages.”

 Compiled from: Likmeta, Besar, Sex-Selective Abortion Trending in Albania, Women’s Enews, (29 January 2013).