Statistics show a noticeable bias towards the female-child. Despite education and awareness, India is still patriarchal and even its policies gear towards anti-woman, terrified of gender equality.
On a quick study of the umpteen socio-economic indices of India after 75 years of independence, they have risen exponentially all with the exception of one, which stands out gloomily in the negative zone, the “gender ratio.” It is noted that from 946 in 1947, it has dipped further to 910 in 2020, (UNFPA 2020).
Again, current statistics from the National Family Health Survey (NFHS) show a similar trend, with 18 of the 22 surveyed states noticeably biased toward the female child. In the economic sphere, prosperous states like Goa had a 13 percent drop from 966 in 2013-2014 (NFHS-4) to 838 in 2019-2020. It was shocking that socially advanced states like Kerala have lost 96 points, falling from 1,047 in 2015 to 951 in 2020, which is deeply concerning as Kerala improved by 122 points in 2015 (NFHS 4) and was the second greatest performance in SBR after Punjab.
What is a Gender Ratio?
A gender ratio is the number of males in a population divided by the number of females. On average in India, the gender ratio at birth favours baby boys, which is about 105 men to 100 females. However, the gender ratio at birth is not permanent and is influenced by a variety of biological, social, economic, cultural, political, and technical factors.
The latest data on India’s gender ratio reveals the preference of cultural features as well as a strong leaning towards sons. It appears that the government’s various initiatives, such as the prohibition of pre-sex determination scanning and gender-selective abortions have not entirely addressed the dilemma.
Rather, technological innovation with ease of access has worked detrimentally towards the diminishing gender ratio. Technical advancement is one of the reasons why cities have a lower gender ratio than rural areas because, despite education and advancement, the Indian mentality is still patriarchal and even our policies gear towards anti-girl, terrified of gender equality.
Gender biased population control bill
The recent population control bill passed by the Uttar Pradesh legislature stipulates that a third child can be born if the first two children are girls. Meninism’s mentalities are now being unveiled through state-level policies.
Because the gender ratio is one of the indicators of social progress, when it falls, it has a number of negative implications. The continuing fall in the number of females has resulted in a rise in domestic violence, marital rape, workplace violence, and girl-child abuse.
Furthermore, analysis shed light on how the central government’s much-publicized project “Beti Bachao- Beti Padhao” neglected to accomplish its objectives, limping along helplessly, without any positive outcomes. According to data released by the government in Lokshabha, stunningly it revealed that approximately 56% of the entire fund of the Beti Bachao Beti Padhao initiative was spent on advertising and is an entirely failed and superficial project.
Serious Concerns and Time for Change
India needs to take strong measures to work to prevent the deteriorating gender ratio and act accordingly, or else it will be too late to reverse the negative side, leading to the rise in domestic violence, sexual harassment, marital rape, acid attack, dowry practice, and other forms of violence. Social evils of killing the baby girl, aborting female fetuses have to be eradicated through finer schemes implemented by the government and also have a “program cleaner” to change the anti-female mindset of the people of India.