Government officials in India have said that more than 63 million women are “missing” statistically and more than 21 million girls are “unwanted”
Government officials in India have said that more than 63 million women are “missing” statistically and more than 21 million girls are “unwanted”.
According to the annual economic survey, published on January 29, 2018, families where a son is born are also more likely to stop having children than families where a girl is born.
The skewed ratio is largely down to the country’s traditional and deep-rooted preference for boys, with parents choosing sex-selective abortions and providing better nutrition and medical care for male children.
In India, the birth of a son is often a time of pride and celebration, whilst a daughter can be a source of embarrassment or even mourning due to the huge debts they will have to take on to afford marriage dowries.
The report estimates that more than 21 million Indian girls are unwanted by their families, according to analysis of birth rates and the gender of last-born children.
It also shows that girls receive poorer education, nutrition and medical attention than boys.
Furthermore, women are put under intense pressure to have sons, regardless of their education or the wealth of the family or area.
Comparatively wealthy areas such as New Delhi have fared progressively worse over the years, whilst India’s north east received the best scores for women’s development.
The report’s author and Chief Economic Adviser, Arvind Subramanian, wrote that “the challenge of gender is long-standing, probably going back millennia,” and that India must “confront the societal preference for boys”.
Read More: The Commonwealth of Learning (COL) has conducted a report to examine the impact of education and skills training on women’s and girls’ empowerment, focusing on unreached women and girls participating in their GIRLS Inspire project in Bangladesh, India and Pakistan