In the next decade, India may pass China to become the world’s most populous country.

But there’s something odd about India’s population. The country has tens of millions fewer women and girls than you’d expect.

At its last census in 2011, India had 36 million more men than women. As the population grows, the World Bank predicts there will be 51 million more men by 2031.

The issue is that Indian women have significantly fewer baby girls than baby boys, and the situation has worsened in recent years.

This is due in part to the widespread practice of sex-selective abortion and the gender-based neglect of young girls leading to higher mortality rates. In some cases, ‘infanticide’ of newborn girls is still practiced. This has led some activists to label what’s happening in India as “gendercide.”

On this edition of Global Journalist, we’re going to learn more about this phenomenon, why it exists and what might be done to prevent it in the future.

Joining the program:

  • Evan Grae Davis, director of the documentary “It’s a Girl: the Three Deadliest Words in the World.”
  • Sandeep Chachra, executive director of ActionAid India.
  • Jill McElya, president and CEO of the Invisible Girl Project.
  • Sunny Hundal, journalist and author of the book “India Dishonoured: Behind a Nation’s War on Women.”


Supervising producer: Lauren Wortman
Assistant producers: Astrig Agopian, Jaime Dunaway, Sierra Morris
Visual editor: Aleissa Bleyl

Note: This program originally aired on January 18, 2018.