The coronavirus pandemic has been having severe implications on the nation’s economy but its implications for the domains of gender equity and dignity to women have to also be considered. A recent study cautions us by showing the gradually falling rates of female births due to the preference for a male child in India and the rampant use of sex-selective abortions despite their being banned in 1994.
It is alarming to note that more than 6.8 million lesser female births are likely to be recorded in India by 2030 if the current trends continue unstopped. The main reason being, the rampant usage of sex-selective abortions to terminate pregnancies and kill the foetus whose sex is detected to be female. The state which is likely to experience the most drastic fall in the number of female births will be Uttar Pradesh. This interesting yet alarming and disturbing finding has been brought forward by researchers of the King Abdullah University, Saudi Arabia and the University de Paris, France.
The researchers of this study have found that in a country like India, sex-selective abortions are already on the rise. Although many nations of the world have been affected by sex selective abortions, India’s condition is particularly alarming. The researchers have noted that there is immense imbalance in India as far as sex ration at both is concerned and this has worsened ever since technologies of sex-selective abortions became widely available.
This study has been published in the journal PLOS ON. Researchers of the study have said that Uttar Pradesh along with many other states of north India will be among the worst affected by sex-selective abortions and by 2030, the state of Uttar Pradesh may alone account for 2 million fewer female births. The research states, “ The average annual number of missing female births between 2017 and 2025 is projected to be 469,000 per tear and is projected to increase to 519,000 per year for the time period 2026 to 2030.”
The cautions that the the report suggests are not new but are particularly alarming because India is known to have banned any sex-selective abortions and other procedures in 1994 itself but still such gendered and discriminatory practices continue to thrive in the nation.