Bhrigu's question

कभी जो याद भी आता हूँ मैं तो कहते हैं के आज बज़्म में कुछ फ़ित्ना-ओ-फ़साद नहीं - मिर्ज़ा ग़ालिब

Location: the valley, California, United States

Bay Area, Strategy Manager, Haas- U. C. Berkeley, Marathons

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

CSM: India's girl deficit deepest among educated women

The Christian Science Monitor has an interesting article. I was quite surprised by the revelation.

The practice is common among all religious groups - Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Muslims, and Christians - but appears to be most common among educated women, a fact that befuddles public health officials and women's rights activists alike.

"More educated women have more access to technology, they are more privileged, and most educated families have the least number of children," says Sabu George, a researcher with the Center for Women's Development Studies in New Delhi, who did not participate in the study. "This is not just India. Everywhere in the world, smaller families come at the expense of girls."

There may be an explanation

Karuna Bishnoi, spokeswoman for UNICEF in Delhi, says it shouldn't come as a surprise that educated women are among the most likely to use prenatal sex determination.

"I personally believe this as a failure of society, not a failure of women," says Ms. Bishnoi. "Women who choose this technique may be victims of discrimination themselves, and they may not be the decisionmakers. Nobody can deny that the status of women is very low in India. There is no quick fix to this."


Anonymous Charu said...

Q, I am sure women are victims of their circumstances and do not have a say in this - in many cases. but I am not so sure if all women who agree to abort the girl child are coerced into it... (I have left a longish comment on Amardeep's post - saw that before I saw this - do read it too)

interestingly, I read somewhere recently that the number of girls adopted (legally and through proper channels by bona fide families) in India is more than the number of boys... I wonder what that means...

6:40 PM  
Blogger Quizman said...


Thanks for the comment. I agree that women may have very little say in this matter.

I know exactly why the number of girls adopted is larger. I have an Indian friend (married to an American lady) who adopted a girl in early 2003. After two years, he wanted to adopt a boy. Guess what? There are very few boys in orphanages. They are simply not given away as much as girls are. Finally, he found a boy who was crippled. He could be set right through an operation. My friends decided to adopt the kid. But the court put a stay order (they did not do so for a girl child), since the kid would now become an American citizen. The high court judge was very anal about the whole thing. Finally, after 8 months of court battles - during which time my friend had to leave his job here and fly to India, while his wife and first child cooled their heels here, he got custody of the child. [My friend is from Delhi and this case was in a South Indian city.]

Culture and law hinder adoption of boys.

10:29 PM  
Anonymous neha said...

interesting quizman...any ideas on why it is tough to adopt a boy

10:33 PM  

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