There will be 6.8 million fewer female births compared to male births in India between 2017 to 2030, thanks to the country’s strong preference for sons and falling fertility rates, a new study predicts. via WMC WomenUndrSiege
A new study predicts that there will be 6.8 million fewer female births compared to male births in India between 2017 to 2030, due to the country’s strong preference for sons and falling fertility rates.
the practice of sex selection, causing an imbalanced SRB.In some states, as the fertility declined, the study found that the SRB was also projected to decline.The northeastern state of Assam — considered a unique case considering its lack of strong correlation for son preference compared to the northwestern states — is one of four states in which the SRB was projected to decline with a decrease in TFR. The SRB here (which was almost normal — with equal number of boys and girls — until the late ’90s when fertility rates started falling) is projected to show a greater increase toward males than any other state in the next decade.
“The total fertility rate in Assam was already low,” said Sandhya Gautam, a program manager at the Center for Health and Social Justice in Delhi, who works in Assam with local partners.“Since the [state] government introducedthe two-child normlast year, we are seeing an increase in the practice of sex selection. When the first child is a girl, then the second child is terminated if the test shows that it is a girl again.”
Gautam believes the two-child norm is punitive: those who hold government jobs are either not promoted or not allowed the benefit of government schemes if they have more than two children. “Everyone wants a son,” she said. “With the introduction of the two-child norm, the female fetus is compromised.” headtopics.com
According to the most recent census, in2011there were 914 girls to every 1,000 boys nationally, but in some northwestern states, that number dropped below 850. In the state of Haryana, the SRB was of particular concern: The imbalance was so great that men could not find women to marry, and
brides were bought and broughtfrom other states.In 2015, the Center for Social Research, an advocacy group based in Delhi, introduced community watch groups in the five worst-affected districts of Haryana, under theBeti Bachao Beti Padhao(“Save the Daughter and Educate Her”) campaign, a Government of India campaign to protect and empower the girl child.
The watch groups followed the course of every pregnancy and monitored births in communities with low sex ratios. They also checked the activities of ultrasound centers and created awareness on biased sex-selection practices through street plays and campaigns with the help of locals and field personnel.
As a result of the ongoing program, there has been an observable reduction in the practice of sex selection, said Dr. Manasi Mishra, coordinator of the community watch program. The number of girls born was expected to improve from 830 in 2015 to 924 this year based on quarterly reports sent by the districts to the government. headtopics.com
But since April of this year, because of the lockdown and reduced mobility due to the global pandemic, the groups have been unable to monitor the communities, resulting in an increase of ultrasound clinics. “In Ambala district of Haryana, a man was recently caught doing the rounds in several villages conducting sex-selection from a mobile van,” said Dr. Mishra. Reports from the district indicate that the number of girls born has subsequently dropped from 924 to 890.
Dr. George has observed the same issue with monitoring in Delhi. “Last year, the government conducted 400 inspections of ultrasound clinics between April to June. This year, only 11 were conducted in the same period.” Read more: Women's Media Center »
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