India: 8-month-old baby girl's rape coincides with overdue warning of perilous patrilinear misogyny Print E-mail
Tuesday January 30, 2018

8-month-old baby raped by 28-year-old cousin undergoes surgery, stable                            

New Delhi: An eight-month-old baby girl was raped allegedly by her cousin in northwest Delhi's Netaji Subhash Place, police said. The accused has been arrested, they said.

The baby is stable after she underwent a surgery.

The 28-year-old confessed to raping the baby under the influence of alcohol, said a senior police officer.

The girl's parents used to go out for work and leave their daughter in the custody of their sister-in-law. Since it was a Sunday, their sister-in-law's son was at home, he said.

When he saw that his mother was not around, the accused allegedly forced himself on the baby, police said.

When the girl's mother, who works as a maid, returned home at around 12.30 pm, she saw blood stains on her daughter's clothes and informed her husband.

The baby was rushed to a hospital where it was found that she had been sexually assaulted, police said.

Subsequently, the police were informed and a case was registered.

Delhi Commission for Women chief Swati Maliwal visited the girl at a hospital yesterday. In a series of tweets today, Maliwal expressed her anguish over the incident saying the "DCW has been raped".

She said that despite her repeated demands to punish rapists within six months, nothing has happened. The girl underwent a surgery and was doing fine, the police said, adding that she will be discharged soon. Her parents are being counselled. PTI

  Tuesday January 30, 2018

Turning pink in attempt to abort son preference


New Delhi: The pink-coloured Economic Survey document today recommended that India must confront the societal metapreference for a son, observing that the adverse sex ratio of females to males has led to 63 million “missing” women.

The colour of this year’s survey cover was chosen as a symbol of support for the growing movement to end violence against women, which spans continents.

Laying special emphasis on gender development, the survey cautioned that on several indicators, notably employment, use of reversible contraception and son preference, India has some distance to traverse despite the country’s economic progress. The survey states that just as India has committed to moving up the ranks in ‘Ease of Doing Business’ indicators, a similar commitment should be endeavoured on the gender front.

The percentage of working women has declined over time from 36 per cent being employed in 2005-06 to 24 per cent of women employed in 2015-16, pointed out the survey.

It acknowledges that the government’s ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ and ‘Sukanya Samridhi Yojana’ schemes, and mandatory maternity leave rules are all steps in the right direction, pointing out that measures such as increasing maternity leave will offer support to women in the workforce.

Given these observations, the states and all stakeholders have an important role to play in increasing opportunities available for women in education and employment, it said.

As per the survey, nearly 47 per cent of women do not use any contraception. The survey highlighted another phenomenon of son metapreference, which involves parents adopting fertility “stopping rules” having children until the desired number of sons are born. ­ PTI

  Tuesday January 30, 2018  

India has 21 million 'unwanted' girls due to preference for sons                   

Thomson Reuters Foundation, Mumbai:

   The government's Economic Survey said that around 21 million girl children are 'unwanted' in the country owing to the preference given to sons. Reuters file photo for representation.  

Some 21 million girls in India are "unwanted" and receive fewer resources because their parents wanted a son, the government said, as analysts called for action to boost women's earnings.

The government's annual economic survey, presented to parliament on Monday with a pink cover, included a chapter on women's issues for the first time - emblazoned #MeToo in recognition of the global campaign against sexual harassment.

"India must confront the societal preference, even meta-preference for a son, which appears inoculated to development," it said.

While India is set to regain its position as the world's fastest-growing major economy, development "has not proved to be an antidote" for its skewed sex ratio, lack of women in the workplace and low contraceptive use, the survey said.

A sex ratio of 943 females per 1,000 males has led to the identification of some 63 million "missing" women, it said.

While sex-selection abortions are widely prevalent despite a ban, the preference for sons also manifests in parents choosing to keep having children until they have sons, leading to an estimated 21 million "unwanted" girls, the survey noted.

"Consigning these odious categories to history soon should be society's objective," it said.

"A son 'meta' preference ... may be detrimental to female children because it may lead to fewer resources devoted to them."

Many parents prefer sons because they can inherit property while families have to pay dowries when their daughters marry.

Only 24 percent of women in India were employed in 2015-16 and almost 47 percent do not use any contraception, it said.

Analysts welcomed the government's acknowledgement of the challenges to gender justice but said it must do more to ensure equal rights for women.

"There is no recognition of the failure of economic policy with respect to women's rights and women's work - including unpaid labour," said Jayati Ghosh, a professor of economics at the Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi.

"They are also not doing enough to stop violence against women, which is seriously limiting women's labour participation," she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Nearly two-thirds of Indian women with college degrees are without jobs, and female labour force participation is among the lowest in the world, according to World Bank data.

Ensuring property rights for women, and ending gender stereotyping in Indian popular culture can also help, said women's rights activist Kamla Bhasin.
 Tuesday January 30, 2018

India’s ‘unwanted’ girls: Economic Survey highlights how preference for sons is hurting daughters

By K Deepalakshmi
    A scene at Fangadi village on the outskirts of Ahmedabad. (Reuters)  

The Economic Survey has mentioned that the desire for a male child has created 21 million “unwanted” girls in India between 0 and 25 years.

Chapter Seven of the Survey, tabled in Parliament on Monday, deals with gender equality. While India has shown improvement in several parameters related to women's empowerment, the preference for a son has not diminished. “In some sense, once born, the lives of women are improving but society still appears to want fewer of them to be born,” the Survey stated.

The Survey has taken note of the behavioural pattern of Indian parents who prefer to have children “until the desired number of sons are born.” Calling this the “son meta-preference,” the Survey has found that while an average Indian family prefers to have two children, there are instances where families have more than five children if the last child is not a male.

The biologically determined natural sex ratio at birth is 1050 males per 1000 females. After sex selection was declared illegal in India in 1994, the sex ratio at birth (SRB) began to stabilise. In 1970, the SRB was 1060 males per 1000 females. In 2014, this rose to 1108, contrary to the belief that development would mend the skewed sex ratio.


The Survey pointed out the missing link by analysing the sex ratio of last child (SRLC). The SRLC in India is biased against females and is lower by 9.5 percentage points in 2015-16 in comparison with other countries.

The sex ratio among families with one child stood at 1.82 i.e., 1820 males per 1000 females. This drops to 1.55 for families with two children and rises to 1.65 for three, and drops to 1.51 and 1.45 for four and five children, respectively. Comparing it with the sex ratio of families where the last child is not a male, it stands at 1.07, 0.86, 0.85, 0.84, 0.88 respectively. This shows the Indian families tend to "stop" having children after a son is born.

The Survey pointed out several reasons behind preferring a male child such as compulsion of a woman to move to her husband's house post marriage, inheritance of property, rituals performed by sons, and dowry, among others.

Male child preference lowest in Meghalaya
The male child preference is highest in Punjab and Haryana and lowest in Meghalaya. More than 2 million women go missing across age groups every year either due to sex-selective abortion, disease, neglect, or inadequate nutrition, according to the National Family and Health Survey (NFHS).

While more women are educated, employed and earning than 10 years ago, they still do not have control over their earnings and childbirth. Quoting the NFHS, the Survey pointed out that more women tend to quit their employment after marriage or childbirth.

The Survey recommended that the nation must confront the societal preference for male offspring. Noting that schemes such as Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao, Sukanya Samridhi Yojana, enhanced maternity leave and mandatory creches in workplaces are steps in the right direction, the Survey called for a stronger commitment on the gender front similar to the government’s push for Ease of Doing Business.