ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Female FoeticideSubscribe to Female Foeticide

Confronting Gender Discrimination in Punjab

The 2011 Census revealed the welcome fact that both the child sex ratio and the overall sex ratio in Punjab had improved considerably over the previous census data. However, subsequent rounds of National Family Health Survey data show that gender bias against the girl child in terms of health coverage and nutrition is not only higher than in the developed states but also the poorer ones. The central and state governments need to take note of this aspect in policymaking.

On the Trail of 'Missing' Indian Females

This paper seeks to explain the century-long trend of falling proportion of females in the Indian population. In the first part, some clues to the puzzle are unearthed by identifying the age groups, regions and social groups of the estimated 21 million females gone 'missing' between 1901 and 1991. In particular, it is shown that overtime there has been a convergence of the sex ratios of adults and children, and female-male ratios declined in regions and social groups where the adult sex ratios were substantially higher than the child sex ratios. In the first half of the last century, the overall sex ratio declined because of the decline at adult ages, especially at age 40 and over. After independence, the decline has been more concentrated at ages under 15. However, census data should be interpreted with caution because improving quality of age data on children can produce a spurious trend of falling sex ratios at certain childhood ages. In the light of these disclosures, the second part of the paper reviews the plausible explanations for the long-term trend of falling female-male ratio in India.

Adverse Juvenile Sex Ratio in Kerala

Census 2001 has revealed a deterioration in the juvenile malefemale sex ratio in Kerala. Hospital birth records can help establish sex ratios at birth and thus the prevalence of female foeticide. However, civil society and the state will need to pitch in to check the misuse of technology for female foeticide in Kerala.

Curbing Female Foeticide

The Supreme Court's tough stand on implementation of the Pre- Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Regulation and Prevention of Misuse) Act is unlikely to be effective in dealing with female foeticide given the indifference of governments, especially of the states with the worst records in this regard, and the silence of civil society.

Gender Bias in Child Mortality

Gender Bias in Child Mortality SHARADA SRINIVASAN This note points to some disturbing aspects about child mortality in Tamil Nadu that are overlooked in Amartya Sen

Fighting Female Foeticide

The recent census data reveal some apparently contradictory phenomena. For instance, in 1991, the overall sex ratio declined and so also the child sex ratio, while in 2001, the overall sex ratio increased but the child sex ratio declined. How is this to be explained?

Female Foeticide and Infanticide

The scholars who have commented in EPW on the revelations of the recent 2001 Census in regard to child sex ratios in the 0-6 age group in Punjab, Haryana, Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh (Ashish Bose, May 19) and Mahendra K Premi, May 26 have drawn attention to what seems obvious, namely, that since migration is minimal in this age group, the adverse female sex ratios point to endemic female foeticide and infanticide in these states. The statistics provided by Premi on age-specific death rates in the 0-4 and 5-9 age group by sex for the years 1986 to 1994 for India and the states show that except Himachal Pradesh, the three states mentioned above, namely, Punjab, Haryana, Gujarat and also Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan, have for the period covered a much higher mortality of female children compared to males. Since I have used archival sources and census data (till the 1931 Census) to study female infanticide in Gujarat and north India during the 19th century I would like to offer some comments.

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