Female employment

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This comes under cultural issues as the cultural worth of women in India can be measured through their participation in the labour force. Work helps to raise the status of women generally and gives some women power within the family. It has been statistically proven that with increasing female literacy rates there is a significant decrease in child mortality as better educated mothers are less likely to favour boys more than girls.

Thus they can maximise their offsprings’ life chances because they are most likely to make fuller use of medical facilities. Therefore education and most probably awareness of equality is a factor that contributes to the problem of the girl deficit. Surprisingly, when it comes to low income levels this does not become a factor of the problem, however against common expectations, selective abortion is most common among India’s elite and richer population as evidence suggests that poorer families discriminate less against girls than richer families do.

Richer families can afford many trips to the ultrasound clinics and a covered up abortion of an unwanted girl which leads up to the fact that there is a greater number in abortions in richer communities than poorer ones. For example in the wealthy district of Kurukshetra, the sex ratio is 770 girl babies to every 1000 boy babies. So the concluding point here to take note of is that a combination of economic growth, reduced poverty and modernisation may well pose as a threat to the life chances of female babies and put girls and women at a greater disadvantage.

Possible factors that could contribute to the problem There are some factors that do not contribute to the problem such as religion and, to some extent, autonomy but are worth mentioning as they are often assumed to be factors that do contribute to the issue of abortion. Religion Through my research I have found that religion does not have an influence on the sex ratios as the practice is common among all religious groups-Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Muslims, and Christians.

The most familiar of India’s religions condemn discrimination against women, however there have been a few temples found in the state of Punjab that promise to help bring fewer women into existence. An example is the Bir Baba Mandir in Amritsar, where couples eat flatbread and onions as they believe this ensures a boy child. But generally, the study found that religion played no role in the phenomenon.

Though the factors listed above do not directly result in a girl deficit in India, it is estimated that in any of the above areas, if women and girls are more disadvantaged than males, this could in the long-term affect the sex ratios. For example, the expression of opinions in public, control over one’s own fertility and decision making power within the household are just some of the factors that could affect the figures in the sex ratios as there has been some evidence to show that some abortions are forced abortions clearly proving that there is a lack of the factors that I have listed within a household.

Statistics suggest that females are more disadvantaged in terms of autonomy in northern India, whereas in the south, a larger proportion of the girls are educated and more women vote. In states such as Kerala women even have rights to land, towards the south and the east of India women are more likely to marry later, have fewer children and there are generally lower rates of infant/child mortality.

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