India’s Missing Daughters: An Ominous Sign for Democracy
AbstractThe continuing devaluation of women in economic and social domain, lack of property rights and the increasing scourge of dowry are found for strengthening son preference trends as reflected in the current census figures. The drop in girl child sex ratio may be attributed the notorious nexus of tradition and technology. The collusion between people, the medical fraternity and the administration has resulted in worsening of the sex ratio and failure of the Act to make a difference. Patriarchy is the root cause for the institution of male rule and subordination of female in the society. Bringing daughters is viewed as a liability and sons are preferred as the saviors of seven generation of ancestors. A hardened conscience and disregard for the sanctity of life is the reason for widespread abortion and female foeticide. The skewed sex ratio seems to impact both the treatment of Indian women in particular as well as the health of Indian democracy in general. Reversal of the declining trend is a must to ensure stable economic and societal growth. Progammes that aim to reduce the excessive son preference and increase the value of daughters to their parents should be given top priority.
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