'Poor child sex ratio due to gender bias'

Last Updated: Wed, Nov 07, 2012 12:30 hrs

New Delhi, Nov 7 (IANS) The gender bias against the female foetus is behind the declining trend of the child sex ratio in the country, several women and child organisations said here Wednesday.

Representatives of women and child empowerment organisations from various states led by Women Power Connect (WPC) attributed this alarming trend to the ubiquitous practice of gender-biased sex selection across the nation and weak enforcement of law.

"The alarming situation of continuous decline of the child sex ratio across the country needs to be seriously considered by law enforcement agencies," said Ena Singh, assistant representative of the United Nation Population Fund (UNFPA).

To address the issue, the WPC had implemented a three-year campaign in 11 states, urging communities to prevent sex selection of an unborn child and arresting the decline in the child sex ratio with support from the UNFPA in 2009.

The Prenatal Diagnostic Techniques Act (PNDT) was introduced by the government in 1994, but to no avail, the campaign revealed. "Sex selection continues throughout the nation," said WPC president Ranjana Kumari.

"Gender-biased sex selection is the main reason for the adverse child sex ratio," Kumari said.

As per the 2011 census data, the child sex ratio (0-6 years) has dipped further to 914 as against 927 girls per thousand boys recorded in the 2001 Census and is presently at an all-time low since 1961, Kumari said.

Prem Narain, secretary, ministry of women and child development, said: "It is necessary for all law implementing groups to examine laws and check whether they promote gender-biased sex selection."

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