Child Sex Ratio

Child Sex Ratio is a sensitive indicator that shows the status of women. The sex ratio among children was 927 : 1000 in 2001 census and is continuously declining. Female fetuses are selectively aborted after illegal pre-natal sex determination.

Poverty and lack of education are often cited as reasons for this discrimination in India. However the data shows otherwise. Discrimination against women seems to more pravalent in educated and affulent sections of the society.  For example, Akole is the tribal area in Maharastra where the ratio of the girl child is 940 to 1000. In nearby Shrigonde, a well irrigated, educationally sound and economically rich district child sex ratio is fast declining below 800.

Since 1991, 80% of districts in India have recorded a declining sex ratio, with the state of Punjab being the worst.

Despite these horrific numbers, foetal sex determination and gender selective abortion by unethical medical professionals has today grown into a Rs. 1,000 crore industry (US$ 244 million). Social discrimination against women, already entrenched in Indian society, has been spurred on by technological developments that today allow mobile sex selection clinics to drive into almost any village.

Child Sex Ratio is far more skewed in the national capital, New Delhi and affluent states of Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh. These states have recorded a more than 50 point decline in the child sex ratio in 10 years. As per the latest government data, CSR in Punjab stood at a mere 775 females per 1000 males. Hundreds of female infants have been reportedly killed every month in the rich Dharmapuri district of Tamil Nadu. In Ahmednagar district of Maharshtra, which is fast progressing in education, economic  and social conditions, only 859 girl children are born against 1000 boys. Amidst uproars of gender equality, female infants are still found dumped in trash, by the dozens, each day across the country.

The secondary status of women in our society, considering them a commodity is the root cause of these atrocities. The menace of dowry, fear of loss of face in local community and a desire to keep the wealth within the family are all leading to the same problem. The apathetic attitude of the administration and  ineffective legislative implementation further adds to the woes of the girl child in India.

Useful Research and Publications about declining Sex Ratio in India and it's implication ican be found in this research document :