Gendercide is the systematic killing of members of a specific gender.[1] The term is related to the general concepts of assault and murder against victims due to their gender, with violence against women and men being problems dealt with by human rights efforts.

Gendercide shares similarities with the term 'genocide' in inflicting mass murders; however, gendercide targets solely one gender, being men or women. Politico-military frameworks have historically inflicted militant-governed divisions between femicide, and androcide; gender-selective policies increase violence on gendered populations due to their socioeconomic significance.

Gendercide is reported to be a rising problem in several countries. Census statistics report that in countries such as China and India, the male to female ratio is as high as 120 men for every 100 women.[2] Gendercide also takes the forms of infanticide and lethal violence against a particular gender at any stage of life.

The Holocaust falls within the category of genocide but its early stages can also be categorized as gendercide. In many German-occupied territories, such as Serbia and the Soviet Union, men of military-service age and male adolescents were the first to be killed en masse. In such instances, women, children and the elderly were killed only later, "targeted as part of a root-and-branch extermination".[3]

Origin of the term

The term gendercide was first coined by American feminist Mary Anne Warren in her 1985 book, Gendercide: The Implications of Sex Selection. It refers to gender-selective mass killing. Warren drew "an analogy between the concept of genocide" and what she called "gendercide". In her book, Warren wrote:

By analogy, gendercide would be the deliberate extermination of persons of a particular sex (or gender). Other terms, such as "gynocide" and "femicide," have been used to refer to the wrongful killing of girls and women. But "gendercide" is a sex-neutral term, in that the victims may be either male or female. There is a need for such a sex-neutral term, since sexually discriminatory killing is just as wrong when the victims happen to be male. The term also calls attention to the fact that gender roles have often had lethal consequences, and that these are in important respects analogous to the lethal consequences of racial, religious, and class prejudice.[1]