Published on August 2, 2007
PRE-BIRTH ELIMINATION OF FEMALES IN INDIA: ISSUES AND CHALLENGES: PRE-BIRTH ELIMINATION OF FEMALES IN INDIA: ISSUES AND CHALLENGES DR. KANUPRIYA CHATURVEDI SITUATION ANALYSIS: Sex Ratio - 933 females per 1000 males (Census 2001) Child Sex Ratio (0-6 years) - 927 females per 1000 males (Census 2001) SITUATION ANALYSIS Slide3: CHILD SEX RATIO: 1991 - 2001 Child Sex Ratio (0-6) andlt; = 921 922 - 968 andgt; = 969 Missing data 2001 1991 Slide4: 79% of the total 577 districts in the country registered a decline in CSR between 1991 – 2001 204 or about 35% of the districts registered child sex ratios below the national average of 927 females per 1000 males 49 districts recorded child sex ratios below 850 Punjab with 82 points decline has the highest reduction in the CSR, followed by Haryana with 59 points 754 girls per 1000 boys is the lowest district level CSR recorded - Punjab Sharper CSR decline in urban areas (32 points in 2001) than in the rural (14 points) Urban child sex ratio is 903 females per 1000 males (2001 Census) and rural child sex ratio is 934 females per 1000 males Only 4 states (Kerala, Mizoram, Tripura andamp; Sikkim) and 1 union territory (Lakshadweep) out of the 35 states and UTs, recorded an increase in CSR in 2001 1036 girls per 1000 boys is the highest district level CSR recorded - Sikkim Slide5: DISTRICT LEVEL CHILD SEX RATIO - 2001 Slide6: States in the frontline of economic progress like Haryana, Punjab, Delhi, etc., have recorded the sharpest decline in child sex ratios. State/UT# Child sex ratio Poverty Ratio (% of population living (0-6 years females below poverty line) 1999-2000 per 1000 males) * (combined High Income States Delhi # 865 8.23 Gujarat 878 14.07 Haryana 820 8.74 Himachal Pradesh 897 7.63 Punjab 793 6.16 Maharashtra 917 25.02 Low Income States Sikkim 986 36.55 Tripura 975 34.44 West Bengal 963 27.02 Orissa 950 47.15 IMPLICATIONS: Imbalanced sex ratios an indication of deep-rooted gender bias, undermines the right to life of girls Pre-birth elimination of girls creates scarcity of women, which may result in: Girls being married at younger age Increased numbers of child brides further contribute to the poor status of women, as they are less likely to finish school or develop job skills before marriage Young brides and their children are more likely to suffer from increased morbidity and mortality associated with early childbirth Increase in acts of violence against girls and women, e.g., rape, abduction, trafficking, due to surplus of men Loss of women likely to have negative consequences on the economy since women are a vital part of India’s labour force IMPLICATIONS Government's response continued..: Government's response continued.. Implementation strategy focuses on: Advocacy and communication – Mobilising media both print and electronic to create nation-wide publicity and awareness Capacity building – Ranges from organising training programmes to provisioning of essential reading materials to equip and enhance knowledge base Promoting, strengthening and working with partners - The GOI works with a range of partners, particularly other departments like the Department of Women and Child Development, the Registrar General’s Office, NGOs, civil society organisations, academic institutions, UN agencies, etc. WHAT SHOULD BE DONE: WHAT SHOULD BE DONE Media advocacy to encourage greater focus on the issue of female foeticide Strengthen partnerships and alliances to facilitate the implementation of laws, policies and programmesthat protect the rights of girls Support research studies and data analysis Support community based initiatives FUTURE DIRECTIONS...: FUTURE DIRECTIONS... Promote community based inter sectoral actions to address adverse sex ratios Improve civil registration system for births, deaths and ante-natal registrations Support advocacy efforts to ensure the practice of medical ethics and work with State and National Medical Counsels Develop related indicators to help in monitoring progress Document and disseminate information Continue media advocacy and efforts to facilitate the implementation of laws, policies and programmes that protect the rights of girls.