A Country Without Women: The Truth Behind Wavering Sex Ratios Across Indian States
A Country Without Women: TheTruth Behind Wavering Sex Ratios Across Indian States -Priyanka Mittal
A world without women• Misogynists may consider it their ideal place but coming to its logical conclusion, it would amount to extinction of the human race.• One may think that this seems short-sighted and mankind would be sensible enough to avoid such a scenario but over the years, the thirst for a male child has led to countless female foetuses being killed.• In order to avoid spending lakhs for a daughter’s wedding, parents seek a solution at birth itself – kill the baby if it is a girl.
Sex ration, a shocking reality• The immediate result of killing girl babies is a drop in the sex ratio with the current figure being at 940 girls for every 1000 boys.• Though there is a marginal improvement since 2001, this cannot be taken as reason enough to celebrate as it differs from region to region.• According to Census 2011, Kerala and Puducherry are the only two places in India where total female population is higher than male population.• The lowest sex ratio was recorded in Haryana.• A healthy sex ratio remains in Tamil Nadu, Andra Pradesh and Chattisgarh.
Shameful isn’t it• As per popular belief of growth and economic progress going hand in hand with progressive attitude towards women, few Indian states have managed to bend this trend bringing much shame and disgrace.• Sex ratios in states like Delhi and Chandigarh are expected to be higher than those of agrarian states.• This has been invalidated with the figures of Delhi and Chandigarh standing at 866 and 818 in comparison to Punjab and Haryana which are at 893 and 877 respectively.• New Delhi being the capital of the country and one of the most developed states holds one of the lowest ratios of 866 females per 1000 males adding fodder to India’s shameful story.
• It may be drawn that it is not the poorest and least literate states that are killing off their infant girls as per popular belief; in fact the reverse holds true.• Nor is high literacy a good indicator: Uttar Pradesh and Bihar do far better than Maharashtra and Gujarat.• These trends lead to the inescapable conclusion that growth and development brings greater access to pre-natal sex determination, and hence, worse sex ratios.
Trafficking!• As a consequence of less number of females, polyandry would rise with her being shared amongst several men in the same household.• There is also an emerging pattern of trafficking of girls to areas where gender gaps are most acute.• The trafficked women and girls are sexually exploited and forced to give birth to a male child.
A step in the right direction!• With the government passing the Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act and Aamir Khan enthralling the nation by exposing the ugly face of female foeticide, we seem to have taken a step forward in this direction.• Reflections of changing trends can be seen in tiny mirrors where a sarpanch in a Rajasthan village has decided to register police cases against women and families going for tests to detect and abort the girl child.• The key question is that when there are not enough women to match the number of men – what then? This is a question which deals with not anything that is yours or mine but something that is ‘ours’; the future of us all.
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