Does good growth lead to favourable sex ratio?
Studies have estimated that there are 30-70 million ‘missing women’ in India. Out of this total, the last decade (2000-10) alone accounts for about 8 million ‘missing women’. The concept of missing women is credited to Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen, who identified female foeticide as its main cause. The number of missing women was calculated using the ‘standard’ sex-ratio at birth: 950 females per 1000 males. The impact of this trend will be felt for more than 50 years, particularly by way of shortage of brides, perhaps increased violence against women, as also further unrest in society. Earlier, the problem was predominantly confined to Northern India, Punjab and Haryana, but it has spread across India, barring the likes of the Northeast and Kerala.
Two recently published studies have concluded that socio-economic development helps to improve the sex ratio: Dr Monica Das Gupta’s on South Korea and Dr Christophe Z Guilmoto’s on China. Both countries had experienced one of the lowest sex ratios in the world. Dr Das found that development works largely through
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