"Development was not supposed to look like this,” [Mara] Hvistendahl [author of Unnatural Selection: Choosing Boys Over Girls, and the Consequences of a World Full of Men] writes. “For as long as they have speculated about the status of women, social scientists have taken for granted that women’s position improves as countries get richer.”
-Quoted in this Bloomberg review of Ms. Hvistendahl's book.
Why would you take such a thing for granted? You would, I suppose, if you excluded unborn girls from the definition of "women." Or if you had certain views about "progress" and were absent the day they talked about the 20th Century.