In June 2008 I wrote a report for NGO ActionAid on India’s disappearing daughters.
The report was based on new research from India that showed that sex-selective abortions and systematic neglect of girl children is on the increase. It is estimated that around 10 million female foetuses may have been aborted in India over the last two decades.In four of the five regions in India surveyed for the research, the proportion of girls to boys is showing a worrying decline.
With parts of society regarding girls as little more than economic and social burdens, families are going to extreme lengths to avoid having daughters. Although prenatal sex detection and sex-selective abortion is illegal, the law is not being enforced. Doctors, nurses and other medical practitioners are routinely violating the ban.
In poorer communities, without such ready access to ultrasound scans, daughters are instead lost through neglect and a denial of medical care and nutrition. Meanwhile, the underlying social and economic factors that underpin gender discrimination and drive people to make these decisions persists.
Click here to visit the ActionAid site and download the report.