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  • 1. International Indexed & Referred Research Journal, April, 2012. ISSN- 0975-3486, RNI-RAJBIL 2009/30097;VoL.III *ISSUE-31 Research Paper—Home Science Awareness Among Anganwadi Workers Related to Female Foeticide in District Kathua, J and K State *Dr. Shashi Manhas ** Poonam Dogra April, 2012 *** Pushap Lata *Associate Professor, P.G Dept. of Home science.University of Jammu ** Research Scholar, P.G Dept. of Home science.University of Jammu****P.G Dept.of Home Sc. (Human Development) University of Jammu A B S T R A C T The present investigation was undertaken to know the awareness among Anganwadi workers regarding Female Foeticide.Sample comprised of 50 Anganwadi workers selected from 25 villages of Hiranagar Block of Kathua district.Random sampling technique was used to draw a sample for the study.A self devised interview schedule was used as a tool for data collection.The results revealed that majority of the respondents were aware about the prevalence and causes of female foeticide.Awareness regarding contributing factors for female foeticide found among anganwadi workers were mushrooming of ultrasound clinics , followed by ability to pay for abortion and son preference .Son is preferred for performing the last rites of parents, support in old age and carry on the family lineage.Anganwadi workers were also aware about the repercussions of female Foeticide.Awareness of anganwadi workers related to Medical Termination of Pregnancy and Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques Act was negligible.They were not aware about guide- lines and legal aspects regarding PNDT.Intervention programmes were also organized to aware anganwadi workers regarding law and government action plans to overcome the problem of female foeticide. Keywords: Female foeticide, Awareness, Anganwadi workers, Repercussions. Introduction not only help to supplement the familys income but Girl child has been the subject of deprivation also a major support to the parents in old age where as , discrimination, intimidation and unjust treatment in girls would not because after marriage they had to society through out history.In earlier times, girls were leave their parental home(National Comission for killed after birth by rubbing poison on the mothers Women, 2004 and National Institute of Public coop- breast and by feeding them milk of the errukam flower eration and Child development, 2008).Social sequirty or oleander berries. Today with the boon in economy is another reason for son preference with the belief and innovative technologies the plight of a girl child that he will be the one who can perform the last funeral starts before she sees the light of this beautiful rites of parents for the salvation of their souls where as world.They are not allowed to reach to womanhood girls cannot perform this. (Yadav and Badri 1997) and the girl child is killed before they are born through Another reason is the notion that without a male child female foeticide, which is an extreme manifestation of , there would be no future generation bearing the violence against women. family name.This stereo- type notion of sons as asset Indian society like most of the societies world and daughters as a burden is one of the main reason over is patriarchal and patrilineal .The age old prefer- behind female foeticide (Prasad, 2001) ence for son is motivated by economic , religious, so- The latest advances in modern medical sci- cial and emotional desires and norms that favour males ences like Amniocentesis and Ultrasonography which and females less desirable.Parents expect sons but not were originally designed for detection of abnormali- daughters because daughters are considered to be eco- ties of the foetus are being misused for detecting the nomic liability to her parents mainly because of the sex of the foetus with the intention of aborting it , if it heavy dowry payment demanded by the grooms fam- happens to be that of a female .Study revealed that if ily as well as the high cost of the wedding, which is the first child was a female more miscarriages were generally the responsibility of the brides family to reported during the second pregnancy in contrast when bear before and after marriage where as sons add to the first child was a male.(Institute for Development family wealth and property.The evil of dowry demand and Communication , 2002)The preference for a son is the main reason for female foeticide.(Srivastava et.al and the abid to keep the size of the family small has 2005 and Walia 2005) promoted the mushrooming business of sex determi- As per famous Telgu saying, bringing up nation tests and female foeticide.The widespread daughter is like watering plants in a neighbours availability of facilities such as ultrasound and genetic garden.In contrast to girls , sons are a source of eco- tests prompted the people to avail these services.Pre nomic sequirity and support provider in old age.They birth elimination of females found to be increased along 20 RESEARCH AN ALYSI S AND EVALU ATION
  • 2. International Indexed & Referred Research Journal, April, 2012. ISSN- 0975-3486, RNI-RAJBIL 2009/30097;VoL.III *ISSUE-31with the increase in female literacy rates.(Chattopadhay district female sex ratio declines from 898 in 2001 to, 2003).It seems to be more prevalent in urban areas 877 in 2011 which indicates a trend of femalethen in rural areas, but the gap is increasingly decreas- foeticide.The study was conducted on factors that pre-ing because of easy availability of sex determination fer sons and undervalued daughters and to find out thetests in rural areas.Study shows that the good trans- root causes responsible for female foeticide.Anganwadiportation network and the ability to pay for the ser- workers were selected for the study as they continuoslyvices of the mobile doctors are responsible for the track women and children through contacts and theirwidespread recourse to ultrasound in rural areas monthly meetings.These people have mass contactsalso(Bose, 2001). and they can offer a unique opportunity to address the The increasing incidence of female foeticide problem of female foeticide.has led to a drastic decrease in the number of girls/ Methodologyboys.The practice of eliminating females is believed to Sample : The sample for the present investigation com-be one of the main reasons for adverse sex prised of 50 Anganwadi workers belonging to Hiranagarratio(Sen,2002).The report of the 15th Indian census block of Kathua District. Data was collected in theis alarming for the simple reason that while in a coun- month of Jan- Feb , 2011. A systematic random sam-try of 1.2 billion strong people, the overall sex ratio pling technique was used to select the sample for thehas improved from 933 to 940 - the highest nationwide study.since census 1971 and a shade lower than 1961, but Tools used for data collection: Selected subjects werethe child sex ratio ie. the number of female children in contacted personally for data collection.Data was col-the age group of 0-6 years has further dipped.In 1961, lected using a self devised interview schedule.Beforethere were 978 females/1000 male children in the age finalizing the interview schedule , pretesting was donegroup of 0-6 years population, by 2001 the figure has on 10 anganwadi workers to see the appropriateness ofdeclined to 927.The 2011 census showed a further the interview schedule in the form of additions anddecline to 914.Till the 1980s the child sex ratio (o-6 deletions and then interview schedule was finalizedyears ) was much higher than the overall sex ratio then and applied on the respondents.Major contents of theit starts declining.The consistently declining child sex interview schedule were:demographic profile of theratio is a testimony to the failure of the string out laws respondents, gender discrimination , family size andagainst sex determination tests and large scale preva- composition, declining sex ratio and female foeticide,lence of female foeticide. (Kashmir times, 2011) abortion related practices and legislative and preven- In Jammu and Kashmir - The overall sex ratio tive measureshas declined to 883 and the girl child sex ratio has Data Analysis :Collected data was analysed by bothplummeted to 859/1000 males, making it third worst qualitative and quantitative methods.state in the country after Haryana and Punjab (830) Results and Discussion :and (846).2011 figures have point out that the child Regarding awareness among anganwadisex ratio has improved in the two neighbouring states workers about immoral and inhuman act of femaleunlike Jammu and Kashmir where it has dipped.This foeticide.The following main aspects were investigatedpoints out not just the inadequacies of existing laws in and related findings are detailed out below:Jammu and Kashmir but also a complete social and Table1: Demographic profile of the respondents re-official denial to the enormously alarming situation.A veals that majority of the anganwadi workers(42%)study published in The Lancet reveals that wealthy and (24%)were in the middle age group ie.31-35 yearsand educated families are increasingly aborting the and 36-40 years ,where as only (8%) and (2%)were insecond girl child if the first born is a girl, which points the age group of 46-50 and 51-55 years.Educationout that there is lesser female child sex ratio among the qualification reveals that majority (34%) of the re-educated urban elite where the sizes of families by and spondents were qualified upto 10th where as( 28%large decreased but the perverse culture guided by an )were graduate and remaining (24%) wereabnoxion and retrogressive mindset of discriminating intermediate.It reveals that only a minority(4%) wereagainst the girl child continues to persist (Hindustan post graduate and (2%) were graduate withtimes, 2011). B.ed.Experience of anganwadi workers shows that Keeping in view the above said facts- The present majority (46%) were newly appointed and had only 1-study was planned to know the awareness among 5 years of work experience, another(28%) had workanganwadi workers regarding female foeticide in Dis- experience of 11-14 years and only a minority(4%) hadtrict Kathua.2011 census reveals that there is a trend experience of 21-30 years.of declining sex ratio in Jammu and Kashmir.In Kathua See Table 1 RESEARCH AN ALYSI S AND EVALU ATION 21
  • 3. International Indexed & Referred Research Journal, April, 2012. ISSN- 0975-3486, RNI-RAJBIL 2009/30097;VoL.III *ISSUE-31 Table1:Demographic profile of the respondents(Anganwadi workers) Age wise distribution No.(N=100) %(N=100%) Age in years 25-30 7 14% 31-35 21 42% 36-40 12 24% 41-45 5 10% 46-50 4 8% 51-55 1 2% Qualification wise distribution Below matric 4 8% Matric 17 34% Intermediate 12 24% Graduate 14 28% Post graduate 2 4% Post graduate with B.ed 1 2% Experience wise distribution 1-5 23 46% 6-10 7 14% 11-15 14 28% 16-20 4 8% 21-25 1 2% 26-30 1 2%Table 2: Presents awareness and source of informa- information from doctors/nurses. But it was foundtion about female foeticide among during the study that all of the respondents were notrespondents.Findings revealed that all respondents aware about the sex ratio at State /district level.(100%) were aware about female foeticide but regard- See Table 2ing their source of information majority (98%) of them Fig1:presents awareness of anganwadi workers regard-got information from health workers /ICDS surveys ing methods of sex determination.Majority of thewhich they have to conduct in their area of centre, respondents (92%) were aware about the methods of(36%) informed that they got information from media sex determination and viewed that ultrasound is theincluding T.V and news papers and (6%) from rela- only single method for detecting sex of the foetus wheretives, friends and neighbours and only (2%) get this as remaining (8%) responded that they were not awareTable 2: Source of Information among Anganwadi about any sex determination methods.workers about female foeticide Table 3 : presents the detail information regarding Source of Information No. % the knowledge of ICDS functionaries about Medical Termination of Pregnancy act and Pre- natal Diagnos- Media (T.V,Newspapers) 18 36% tic Technique act. It reveals that only (6%) respon- Healthworkers/ICDS Surveys 49 98% dents were aware about Medical Termination of Preg- Doctors/Nurses 1 2% Relatives/Friends/Neighbours 3 6% Table 3: Awareness among Anganwadi workers about Multiple response Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act and Pre- natal Diagnostic Technique (Prevention and misuse )Act. Knowledge about No. % MTP and PNDT Aware 3 6% Not aware 47 94% Total 50 100% nancy act and Pre- natal Diagnostic Technique act .It reveals that there is lack of awareness among anganwadi workers about MTP and PNDT act whichFig 1 : Awareness of Anganwadi workers about requires immediate attention .methods of sex determination Table 4:depicts awareness of anganwadi workers about22 RESEARCH AN ALYSI S AND EVALU ATION
  • 4. International Indexed & Referred Research Journal, April, 2012. ISSN- 0975-3486, RNI-RAJBIL 2009/30097;VoL.III *ISSUE-31fine and imprisonment for sex determination and fe- respondents viewed that son is preferred for perform-male foeticide.It reveals that majority of the respon- ing the last rites of parents and (52%) were of the viewdents (62%) were aware that govt. has imposed fine point that son is preferred with the belief that he willon sex detection and female foeticide where as (38%) be the one to care for his parents in old age where aswere totally unaware about the fine imposed for sex another (52%) respondents had the opinion that thedetection made by the govt. Another (72%) respon- male child is essential with the belief that he will be thedents were aware about imprisonment for sex deter- bread winner of the family.A negligible (2%) respon-mination and female foeticide where as remaining dents responded that sons bring dowry at the time of(28%) were not aware of imprisonment for sex deter- marriage which adds wealth and property whereasmination .A study carried out on level of awareness daughters drain it through dowry.Similar kind of studyamong various laws under which violence against was carried out by Anand 1998 which also depicts theTable 4: Awareness among Anganwadi workers about above said reasons for son preference.fine and imprisonment for sex determination and fe- Fig 2: Reasons responsible for son preference accord-male foeticide ing to Anganwadi workers Awareness No. % Awareness about fine Yes 31 62% No 19 38% Total 50 100% Awareness about imprisonment Yes 36 72% No 14 28% Total 50 100%women and their harassment is a punishable offencewas very low among the women.In a study carried out Table 6:Provides information regarding contributingby Nayar in 1995 also depicts that there was less aware-factors for female foeticide, according to anganwadiness among women regarding various laws. workers. Majority (42%) of respondents were of theTable 5 : highlights the gender sensitization view that mushrooming of ultrasound clinics wereprogrammes organized by their department including contributing factors for female foeticide.(36%) were oftheir CDPOS and Supervisors on different issues re- the opinion that ability to pay for abortion, (20%) saidlated to women and children.It shows that (64%) of that due to son preference , (14%) disclosed that due torespondents had attended programmes on issues re- poor implementation of MTP act and remaining (6%)lated to inequality with girls in education and nutri- responded that dowry was also the contributing factortion and female foeticide where as (36%) did not at- towards female foeticide.Similar contributing factorstended any gender sensitization programme, but after for female foeticide including dowry and the wide-attending these programmes by (64%) respondents spread availability of ultrasound and genetic facilitiesonly (12%) organized programmes to sensitize public were also found by Voluntary Health Association ofon the issue of female foeticide with the help of com- India, 2003.Table5 :Gender Sensitization programmes attended and organized by Anganwadi workers. Gender sensitization programmes Gender sensitization programme No. (%) No. (%) Attended 32 (64%) Organised 6 (12%) Not attended 18 (36%) Not organized 44 (88%) Total 50 (100%) Total 50 (100%)munity women and members of mahila mandals and Increasing incidences of female foeticide and declineremaining (88%) respondents did not organized any in the no. of females lead to various demographic andprogramme and they were of the view that it does not social consequences.The various problems forseencome under their work and duties. owing to increased female foeticide include non- avail-Fig 2: gives an insight into reasons for son preference ability of brides,rise in sexual violence against womenaccording to anganwadi workers.It reveals that (78%) and lack of female workforce(Ghosh et.al ,2005) Fig 3 : depicts that non- availability of brides was RESEARCH AN ALYSI S AND EVALU ATION 23
  • 5. International Indexed & Referred Research Journal, April, 2012. ISSN- 0975-3486, RNI-RAJBIL 2009/30097;VoL.III *ISSUE-31perceived by (96%) of respondents as the major reper-cussion of female foeticide followed by increase inTable 6 : Awareness among Anganwadi workers re-garding factors contributing to female foeticide Contributing factors No. % Son preference 10 20% Dowry/Financial liability 3 6% Poor implementation of MTP Act 7 14% Ability to pay for abortion 18 36% Mushrooming of ultrasound clinics 21 42% Multiple Responsecrime against women especially sexual violence (42%) Fig 3 :Awareness of Anganwadi workers regardingand lack of female workforce(16%). repercussions of female foeticideConclusion workers related to female foeticide it appears that Female foeticide is a symptom of underlying anganwadi workers were aware about female foeticidemalady.Its incidence is increasing as familiar perceiv- and major reasons perceived for son preference wereing that bearing daughters does not make economic for performing the last rites of parents followed bysense and does not provide any social earn and support in old age. Similar reasons for sonadvantages.Added to that is generation of bias that preference including son is a support provider in oldfavours bearing a male child, Hence efforts directly age and perform the last rites of parents were alsoselectively towards curbing the practice of prenatal found by (MOHFW and TINNARI, 2002).Majority ofsex determination are unlikely to provide such the respondents perceived non - availability of bridesdividends.This situation calls for a two prolonged strat- as the major repercussion of femaleegy - one to take steps to improve the status of women foeticide.Anganwadi workers were aware of only ul-and girls in the society and the other to ensure effective trasound method for sex determination of the foetusimplementation of the Prenatal Diagnostic Technique but there is lack of awareness among anganwadi work-(PNDT) act so that families find it difficult to under- ers regarding Medical Termination of Pregnancy acttake sex determination and sex selective abortion.From and Prenatal Diagnostic Technique act which needsthe results of the study on awareness among anganwadi urgent attention.They were in favour of strict imple- mentation of law against this immoral act.R E F E R E N C EAnand S 1998. A Comparative Study of the Attitude of the people from Haryana, for women 2004.Discrimination of Girl child in Uttarpradesh : Roshni: A Re-Delhi, Rajasthan and Punjab towards Female Foeticide and Female search Study .New Delhi, pp. 46 National Institute of Public Cooperation andinfanticide.Department of H.sc, University of Delhi pp. 285 Bose A 2001. Fight- Child Development 2008.A Socio- Cultural Study of the Declining Sex Ratio ining Female Foeticide:Growing Greed and Shrinking Child Sex Ratio. Economic Delhi and Haryana.A Report of NIPCCD. New Delhi pp.46 Nayar U 1995.Doomedand Political Weekly,36 (36):3427-29 Chattopadhay D 2003.Child Sex Ratio on before Birth: Study of Declining Sex Ratio in the age group of 0-6 years in Selectedthe decline in Bengal .A Report .The Times of India,March 10 Educated, Rich Districts of Punjab and Haryana.New Delhi.NCERT.Department of WomensAborting Girls more than Ever 2011.Hindustan times,May 25 Ghosh Ester A, Studies pp.287 Prasad S 2001.Female Foeticide:A Study of Varanasi,Goel R, Shanti B 2005. Awareness of Rural Couples about Sex Ratio.Journal of Lucknow.Centre for Womens Studies and Development pp.14 Sen V 2002.2001Human Ecology, 18(2): 1 Indias Missing Girls 2011.Kashmir Times, April 4 Census of India.Report of Kolkata.Director of Census Operations.West BengalIndia, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and Third World Centre for Com- Srivastava A, Das Gupta P, Rai S 2005. Attitude Towards Girl Child and Decliningparative Studies 2002.Missing Girls:A Study of Declining Sex Ratio in the age Sex Ratio in Bhopal.Bhopal, Centre for Womens Studies pp.42 Voluntary Healthgroup of 0-6 years.A case study of Delhi.New Delhi, the Author, pp.160 Institute Association of India 2003.Darkness at noon:Female foeticide in India:VHAI pp.for Development and Communication 2002.Identifying and controlling Female 52 Walia A 2005.Foeticide in Punjab:Exploring the Socio Economic and CulturalFoeticide and Infanticide in Punjab.Chandigarh :pp100 National Commission Dimensions.A Report of NIPCCD Yadav SS, Badri VS 1997.Gender Preference and Anxiety of Pregnant Women.Banglore Population Centre pp 10-1424 RESEARCH AN ALYSI S AND EVALU ATION