Friday, April 1, 2011

The imbalance between boys and girls is getting worse in India

Far from diminishing due to economic growth, the chronic imbalance between the sexes in India has worsened in ten years, now the country with 914 girls per 1,000 boys, according to provisional figures of census of population published Thursday, March 31 . According to these preliminary estimates, the population reached 1.21 billion inhabitants, against 1.02 billion in 2001, equivalent to the combined population of Indonesia, the United States, Brazil, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

But "the ratio of girls to boys rose from 927 to 1000 (in 2001) to 914 for 1000," noted the Commissioner General for the census, C. Chandramouli. Although abortion based on gender is illegal in India - scans showing the parents the sex of the baby are also banned - women remain subject to strong social pressure to produce boys, seen as an opportunity for family.

According to NGOs, the imbalance is partly due to illegal abortions and the fact that parents prefer to let their daughter die, which is often a financial burden in the eyes of the conservative Indian society. According to a 2010 report of the UN, 100 million women are reported as "missing" in all of Asia, especially India and China but also in Bangladesh, Iran and Pakistan.

India launched its national census in April 2010, a mammoth task to which employees are not less than 2.5 million civil servants to knock on doors of 600 000 villages and 7,000 cities.

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