Missing Girls Phenomenon In India
"Missing Girls" Phenomenon in India The "Missing
Women" phenomenon is a widely discussed topic especially in Nobel laureate
Amartya Sen's paper. The 2011 Indian census has further highlighted this
highly prejudiced aspect of Indian Society. "Missing Girls" in the
population is an issue not only in India, but also in other countries like
China and West Asian (Arab) nations. This was a problem in Korea earlier, but
with the economic development of the region the problem has been sorted.
Both India & China are much touted as the economies of the future with growth rates double of the World GDP growth rate. The question is how much more developed should we be to give respect and protection to girl babies? Does increase in GDP growth rate really affect female infanticide? Here are some facts.
- Haryana & Punjab are among the relatively richer states in India, but score worst in protecting girl babies.
- Kerala, a foreign remittances based state has the best sex ratio
- Indian NRIs in USA score low in sex ratio and has dipped further as compared to earlier census
It is hard to believe that economic growth would be the single factor. What is more important is education and a deep psychological shift in attitudes towards women. We see women work in all fields of life these days. Actually the poorer they are the more they work, whether it is as house help, low level construction work , activities like agriculture, fishing etc. and save more money for their family than their male counterparts.
The deep rooted " Dowry " system is another main reason for such practices. Girls are considered as taking away the family heirloom whereas boys bring money from other families. This is more prevalent in the north. What is worst is that this practice is so much publicized and well known and there is hardly any action against it. The groom's parents consider it their right to demand dowry and the bride's parents consider it their obligation. Guests for the wedding revel in the party and love to hear about the rich presents given.
Hope that soon there would be some young men who can stand upright on their own and support their family without the bride's father's hard earned money. I can’t understand how men with all their giant-sized ego actually admit that they need the money.
Speaking about psychological shift, it is education, freedom of speech and media which can bring about this shift. Look at the myriad serials that are aired after 7.00 pm in all TV channels. It all revolves around sari-clad, home bound and oppressed women. Why can’t TV show a progressive woman who handles issues related to workplace & her home with grace and poise? Does only teary-eyed girls rake in the TRP ratings and moolah? Is it a psychological vacuum that we have, which needs to be filled seeing depressed women fighting amongst themselves on whimsical issues?
With the trend of 2 or 1 child per family, the pressure to choose boy
babies is even more. There is an increase in girl children left at orphanages.
A good measure would be to have orphanages interact with IVF centres, it may at
least increase the adoption rate.
If the sex ration continues in this manner, another social issue which could come up in the next 20 years is frustrated Men in the 20 to 45 years age group. Some parts of China already report about 20% excess males in their population and there have been reports of men in parts of Haryana not finding brides to marry in their community. Some socialists term this as "Testosterone Glut". This may result in more crimes against woman and other habits like wife sharing.
The laws of nature are impartial and give equal probability for both sex
off-springs with a simple XY chromosome and XX chromosome combination. As
always, human tinkering with nature causes adverse results, which are too
difficult and beyond our capability to fathom. Hope we realize before it is too
late, as making demographic corrections needs decades of change.
Female literacy ratio as per 2011 census is 65.46% as against 82% in males, working on increasing female literacy and girls enrolment in government schools is a key area for improvement. The sex ratio for India is 940:1000, Pakistan: 952:1000, world: 1000:1001
Tags: Girl Child , Sex Ratio , Census , India Social Issue
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