Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Lost Girls

Read this Interesting observation on why the more affluent and educated families in India are more likely to have fewer daughters. This is something I had heard anecdotally from a friend in India who is involved in the production of social awareness documentaries. Whereas he just stated it as a matter of fact, here is an explanation of the phenomenon :

..wealthier and more educated women face this same imperative to have boys as uneducated poor women — but they have smaller families, thus increasing the felt urgency of each birth. In a family that expects to have seven children, the birth of a girl is a disappointment; in a family that anticipates only two or three children, it is a tragedy.

The article mentions advertisement for ultrasound in India “pay 5,000 rupees today and save 500,000 rupees tomorrow.” that I don't recall ever having seen - but it is entirely possible that they exist. The argument is therefore development in a country with deep seated gender bias and discrimination can actually hurt women instead of helping them. In conclusion the author says :

In the short and medium terms, the resulting clashes between modern capabilities and old prejudices can make some aspects of life worse before they make them better.


ggop said...

The sex ratios in Haryana are pretty scary. I saw an article about importing brides from Kerala.
Articles like these are thought provoking - time for us Indians to be introspective and face up to this ugly part of our culture.

Even the traditional blessings in Hinduism pretty much were about having sons. Makes me sad.

Anonymous said...

The skewed sex ratio has both positives and negatives:

One major positives is that the population growth will slow down because of fewer women. The status of women would improve because of fewer women in the society.

Punjab/Haryana are two states which became wealthy without much improvement in education levels. And this is the major cause of skewed gender ratio.