The Economic Survey 2017-18 reveals that Indian parents, still keen to have more and more male children, continue producing “until they have the desired number of sons”.
The country’s sex ratio, skewed in favour of males, has led to the identification of “missing” women. But there may be a meta-preference manifesting itself in fertility-stopping rules, contingent on the sex of the last child, which notionally creates “unwanted” girls, estimated at about 21 million, the Survey adds. “Consigning these odious categories to history soon should be society‘s objective,” notes the Survey.
Among the startling facts revealed by the Survey is that the sex ratio of last birth (females per 100 births) has come down by 40 basis points from 39.4 per cent in 2005-06 to 39 per cent in 2015-16. The Survey suggests that women making their own income has seen no change in 10 years between 2005-06 and 20015-16. Only 13 per cent more women are getting educated – change from 59.4 per cent 10 years ago to 72.5 per cent now.
Another startling observation in the Survey is that fewer women are now involved in decisions related to contraception.