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Presentation on theme: "GIRL CHILD: NOT CHARITY, BUT JUSTICE Dr (Mrs.) MANJU SUBHASH."— Presentation transcript:


2 Gloom and resignation at the birth of girl  Jubilation and celebrations when a son is born BOYS ARE GEMS  girls mere stones

3  Strong patriarchal society  Son preference – sex selection & infanticide  Sex ratio disparities  Health outcomes  Nutritional status Gender Inequities

4 Gender is a social construct  In contrast to sex, which refers to biological differences between males and females, gender is a social or cultural construct of the differences between women and men.  People are born female or male, but they acquire a gender identity that shapes socially acceptable activities for women and men, their relations, and their relative power.

5 Women - the facts:  The vast majority of the world’s poor are women and girls.  Women and girls are 80% of the world’s refugees.  Two-thirds of the world’s illiterates are female.  And, of the millions of children kept out of school - 2/3 are girls.

6 ‘e’ is for empowerment ? 'e' is for exploitation  Every hour, four women and girls in India enter prostitution, three of them against their will.  Girls are subjected to child- trafficking, debt-bondage, forced labor, pornography, prostitution and drugs

7 Social Issues Gender roles and the missing female population  Sons are perceived as an asset:  Security for old age (no social security in India)  Take over the family name.  Sons get better health care, food and schooling.  100% of them must find a bride and produce an heir.  One of the greatest sins is not to have male descendants.

8 Social Issues Contd.  Mothers breast-feed boys longer than girls  Mothers themselves are discriminated against in food and rest after the birth of a girl  Nutritional & medical neglect of girls  Daughters are not valued  “Sold” / “rented” as a factory worker, wife or prostitute.

9 Social Issues Contd.  Daughters are perceived as a liability  Marry and leave home to provide labor to another family.  Dowries are often to be paid.  A girl in her natal home is considered a temporary member, and in her husband's house, an `outsider'

10  Malnutrition  Poor Health  Lack of Education  Overwork  Unskilled  Mistreatment  Powerlessness 7 The Girl Child 7 forms of discrimination

11 What causes the shortage of girls in India?  Poverty? YES  Indian culture? YES- Combined with son preference 500,000 unborn Indian girls are aborted every year after sex screening  Illiteracy, low educational level? YES?  Political or economic system? NO

12 Temporal trend: CSR 1991-2001 Source: CensusInfo, India 2001, Office of the Registrar General, India

13 Women’s status: demographic reality Source: Census of India, 2001 Declining trend of sex ratio in India Sex ratio (0-6 yrs): economically rich states Low women’s status in India is captured by the declining sex ratio across most parts of the country

14 Legal action to stop female feticide  Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act,1971 (amended in 2002)  Pre-Natal Diagnostic Technique (Regulation and Prevention of Misuse) Act, 1994  The Pre-conception and Prenatal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act, 2003

15 Child Marriage Each year thousands of girls, some as young as 6 months, are married to older boys in weddings across the Rajasthan as part of the annual Akhai Teej, festival considered an auspicious day for marriage.

16 Nearly 6000 women a year are killed because they did not bring a big enough dowry -"bride burning" or "dowry deaths" DOWRY Cultural practices of dowry tend to subordinate women in Indian society.

17 Sati in India Sati is the practice through which widows are voluntarily or forcibly burned alive on their husband's funeral pyre.  Banned in 1829  Banned again in 1956 after resurgence.  Revival of the practice in 1981 Another prevention ordinance passed in 1987. The idea justifying sati is that women have worth only in relation to men. This illustrates women's lack of status as individuals in India

18 Violence Throughout a Woman’s Life Cycle  Childhood  Child marriage  Incest  Female Genital Mutilation  Childhood  Child marriage  Incest  Female Genital Mutilation Childhood, adolescence and adult life Denial of education, health care or food Early or unwanted pregnancy Sexual harassment Trafficking Rape Honor killings Forced labour

19 Violence Against Women Sexual and gender-based violence, including physical and psychological abuse, trafficking in women and girls, and other forms of abuse and sexual exploitation place girls and women at high risk of physical and mental trauma, disease and unwanted pregnancy.


21 Violence Against Girls Violence may affect the reproductive health of women through:  Increase of sexual risk-taking among adolescents,  Transmission of STDs, including HIV/AIDS, and  Unplanned pregnancies. A girl child, as a result of violence, may loose self- confidence, be afraid/angry, and blame themselves for what is happening or feel guilty.

22 The Role of Law: The Indian Constitution, adopted in 1950, not only provides equal rights and privileges for men and women, but also makes special provisions for women. A series of laws have been enacted from time to time to raise the status of women. The five-year plans have placed special emphasis on providing welfare services for women. Achievements, however, expressed in terms of demographic and employment characteristics show the position of women to be unequal. This reflects the limitations of the law to bring about substantial change.

23 Let us begin the task today-now-and try to undo the damage done to her. GIRL CHILD: NOT CHARITY, BUT JUSTICE Thank You


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