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Gender discriminations among young children in Asia

 | 
Isabelle Attané
, 
Jacques Véron

Part I - Gender discriminations among young children in India

4. Child Sex Ratio Imbalance, Fertility Behaviour and Development in India: Recent Evidence from Haryana and Punjab

Aswini K. Nanda et Jacques Véron

Résumé

Le dernier recensement indien a montré, pour l’Haryana et le Punjab, un accroissement rapide du rapport de masculinité chez les enfants, celui-ci dépassant 120 garçons pour 100 filles en 2001. En dépit de progrès économiques importants, l’Haryana et le Punjab semblent renouer avec des pratiques anciennes de discrimination des filles, ce qui paraît paradoxal. La tradition de l’infanticide des filles, qui a presque entièrement disparu dans ces états, est remplacée par un fœticide féminin, indiquant un transfert des discriminations de la phase post-natale vers la phase prénatale. Dans certaines régions de ces deux états, cette pratique a pour conséquence une forte élévation du rapport de masculinité juvénile, aujourd’hui de 133 garçons pour 100 filles.
Cette accentuation du déséquilibre des sexes alors que le niveau de vie global s’améliore s’explique par un désir des couples de limiter leur descendance dans un contexte de forte préférence pour les fils. Les progrès technologiques jouent également un rôle, en ce sens qu’ils donnent aux couples un moyen facile de choisir la composition de leur descendance. Par ailleurs, le développement économique s’accompagne d’une augmentation rapide du montant de la dot, ce qui accroît le coût d’une fille.

Texte intégral

Introduction

1Recent results of the Census of India 2001 have once again raised the issue of sex ratio imbalances in mainstream demographic discourse in India.. The first set of results indicates for the entire country a moderate increase in femininity of the total population, simultaneously with a rising masculinity for the child population. A marginally declining number of males, from 108 to 107 per 100 females between 1991 and 2001, in the total population indicates that the female demographic disadvantage is decreasing and that demographically the Indian population is gradually moving closer to the positions of most countries in the world, where females numerically exceed males. At the same time, the census results show a change in the child population sex ratio, with an increase in masculinity for the whole country; in two states, Haryana and Punjab, the masculinity level now exceeds 120 males for 100 females.

2Despite their impressive economic achievements, Haryana and Punjab seem to revert back to some ancient forms of female discrimination, which is, in some way, paradoxical. The tradition of female infanticide (Khan 1933), which has virtually disappeared, is being progressively replaced by female foeticide, indicating a trend towards transfer of gender discrimination from the post-to the prenatal stage. In specific areas of the two states, this type of sex selective discrimination is leading to child sex ratios as high as 133 boys for 100 girls.

3This paradoxical increase in gender bias, in a context of overall improvement of the standard of living, can be explained by the desire among couples to limit their family size, in an environment of continuing son preference. Technical progress also plays a role, giving couples through information on the sex of the foetus a new possibility to structure and shape their family in terms of intended size and gender composition.

North-West India: a sharp increase in the child sex ratio

  • 1 “Child” is used for the 0-6 age group, for which the 2001 Indian census reports the provisional fig (...)

4At the level of India, the child1 sex ratio rises slightly, from 106 in 1991 to 108 in 2001, taking forward the earlier downslide observed since 1961. But the North-West, particularly Haryana and Punjab, experiences a sharp increase in the sex ratio of the population from 0 to 6 years old (Table 1). Though the upward trend in the child sex ratio has been observed in these two states since 1961, the year from which data are available in post-independent India, the discrimination seems to have relatively intensified since the 1980s.

Table 1: Inter-state variations in child (0-6 years) sex ratio in India (1961-2001)

Table 1: Inter-state variations in child (0-6 years) sex ratio in India (1961-2001)

Source: 1. Final Population Totals, India, Census of India 1991, Paper 2 of 1991.
2. Provisional Population Totals, India, Census of India 2001, Paper 1 of 2001.
Note: ‘…’ indicates that the states were part of other states, and ‘--’ indicates the census was not conducted in Assam in 1981, and in Jammu and Kashmir in 1991.

5Analysis of census-based sex ratios indicates a remarkable similarity in the observed sex ratios between Haryana and Punjab: stability of the sex ratio during 1961-1991 and a significant increase afterwards (Figure 1).

Figure 1: Trends in child sex ratio (0-6) for India, Haryana and Punjab, 1961-2001

Figure 1: Trends in child sex ratio (0-6) for India, Haryana and Punjab, 1961-2001
  • 2 The entire state of Punjab is broadly divided into three geographical regions, namely Doaba, Majha,(...)

6According to the 2001 census, the top ten districts of India, with very high child sex ratios, are either in Haryana or in Punjab; three in the former and seven in the latter (Table 2). Among all the 593 districts in the country, Fatehgarh Sahib, in Punjab, records the maximum number of male children (133) for 100 female children. In Punjab, high masculinity in the child population is observed to be quite intense in the Majha (districts of Gurdaspur and Amritsar), parts of Malwa (Fatehgarh Sahib, Patiala, Bhatinda, Sangrur and Mansa) and Doaba belts2 (Kapurthala). Likewise, the inter-district differences in the child sex ratio are also prominent in Haryana. The adjoining districts, on both sides of the border between Haryana and Punjab, have very similar male-female compositions in their child population, which indicates social, cultural and economic contiguity of the female discrimination beyond the confines of administrative boundaries. For instance, the districts with very high child sex ratios in Haryana, namely the Kurukhestra (130), Ambala (128), and Kaithal (127) districts, have common borders with Patiala (130), as noted earlier, a district of high child masculinity in Punjab. Similarly, Sonepat in Haryana, in the neighbourhood of the national capital, Delhi, also has a very high sex ratio unfavourable to female children.

Table 2: District-level child sex ratio (0-6 years) and increase in masculinity in Haryana and Punjab (1991-2001)

District/State

1991

2001

Per cent increase in masculinity (1991-2001)

Ambala

113

128

13.3

Bhiwani

113

119

5.3

Faridabad

113

117

3.5

Fatehabad

115

120

4.3

Gurgaon

112

116

3.6

Hissar

116

120

3.4

Jhajjar

113

124

9.7

Jind

117

122

4.3

Kaithal

117

127

8.5

Karnal

115

124

7.8

Kurukshetra

115

130

13.0

Mahendragarh

112

123

9.8

Panchkula

112

119

6.3

Panipat

112

124

10.7

Rewari

112

123

9.8

Rohtak

115

126

9.6

Sirsa

113

122

8.0

Sonipat

114

128

12.3

Yamunanagar

113

124

9.7

HARYANA

114

122

7.0

Amritsar

116

128

10.3

Bathinda

116

128

10.3

FG sahib

114

133

16.7

Faridkot

116

124

6.9

Firozpur

113

122

8.0

Gurdaspur

114

129

13.2

Hoshiarpur

113

123

8.8

Jalandhar

113

125

10.6

Kapurthala

114

129

13.2

Nawansahar

111

123

10.8

Ludhiana

114

123

7.9

Mansa

115

128

11.3

Moga

115

122

6.1

Muktsar

117

124

6.0

Patiala

115

130

13.0

Rupnagar

113

126

11.5

Sangrur

115

128

11.3

PUNJAB

114

126

10.5

Source: 1. Provisional Population Totals, Paper 1 of 2001, Census of India 2001, Haryana.
2. Provisional Population Totals, Paper 1 of 2001, Census of India 2001, Punjab.
3. General Population Tables, Census of India 1991: Haryana, Punjab.

7In the absence of comparable district-level information for the earlier periods (1961-71, 1971-81, and 1981-91), caused by the re-organization of the districts in both states, it is difficult to quantify the trend since 1961 towards child masculinity below the state level, or to examine the comparative situation in the districts. Nevertheless, on the basis of an overall increase in the child sex ratio before 1991 in the respective states, it can be assumed that the 1990s saw an acceleration in the deficit of females in Ambala, Kurukshetra and Sonepat in Haryana, and Fatehgarh Sahib, Gurdaspur, Kapurthala, Patiala in Punjab.

Two proximate factors: sex ratio at birth and excess female mortality

  • 3 Even if successive censuses in India are known for under-enumeration of females in varying degrees, (...)

8The high levels of masculinity in the child sex ratio in Haryana and Punjab may be explained by two main factors: a higher sex ratio at birth and excess female childhood mortality. Two others factors, net-migration favourable to males among the child population and under-enumeration of female children in relation to their male counterparts, could intervene theoretically but not significantly, as the situation in these states would suggest. In Haryana and Punjab, there is no evidence of large-scale selective migration in favour of male children. The gender difference in enumeration is also not considered to be a significant cause of the child sex ratio imbalance. Even if the census-recorded sex ratios often under-report females (Natarajan 1972, Premi 1991), specifically at an early age, and a disproportionate enumeration, particularly in recent times, in sex ratio variations is clearly documented3, enumeration differentials nonetheless do not account for the skewed sex ratio. Bhat (2002) cautions against over-reliance on the 0-6 year population alone to decipher the changes in male-female composition and argues that a part of the fall in the 0-6 sex ratio can be explained by improvement in age-reporting in India; however, his analysis acknowledges the role of foeticide during the years 1981-91 in Haryana and Punjab. This leaves the sex ratio at birth and excess female childhood mortality as the two main factors influencing the child sex ratio, their relative contribution varying from one place to the other, depending on the local context.

9The sex ratio at birth and the child sex ratio can be treated as direct and definitive indicators of gender discrimination at a very young age. In addition to being population characteristics that are easily discernible without recourse to much statistical exercise, both are hard demographic consequences of neglect targeted specifically at daughters; a higher sex ratio at birth is a sign of prenatal discrimination, whereas an elevated child sex ratio embodies prenatal, natal and, more importantly, postnatal biases in the age group 0-6 years. The forces that decide the contexts, factors, agents and mechanisms of widespread female discrimination, and consequently child-loss, are often specific and only prominently highlighted when the child sex ratio followed by the sex ratio at birth is considered in the analysis of the numerical imbalance between males and females.

Distorted sex ratio at birth

10Growing evidence from different parts of India (Das Gupta and Bhat 1997, Krishnaji 2001, Retherford and Roy 2003), specifically from the north, are increasingly veering around a situation that holds the ratio of male to the female births, or the sex ratio at birth, to be a suspect in distorting the sex ratio among the child population in particular, and the total population in general.

  • 4 The sources that provide information on sex ratio at birth are extremely limited in India, and suff (...)

11Data on the sex ratio at birth in India4 indicate an overall tilt in favour of males that has been rising in the recent period (Table 3 and Figure 2). Both the SRS and NFHS indicate an element of excess male births, particularly in the North-West, that assumes severe proportions in both Haryana and Punjab. In addition to pointing out the origin of scarcity of females to the numerical deficiency at the time of birth itself, they also describe the changes that are currently underway in these two states in the sex composition of births in terms of a rapid decline in femininity (Annexe, Table A1). For instance, the masculinity at birth increased by seven per cent in Haryana and nine per cent in Punjab, as against one per cent in India, between 1981-90 and 1996-98.

Table 3: Sex ratio at birth for India and major states, 1981-98 (number of male births for 100 female births)

Table 3: Sex ratio at birth for India and major states, 1981-98 (number of male births for 100 female births)

Source: 1. SRS: Bose, Ashish, (2001), Estimates from Sample Registration System (SRS), Registrar General, India, p. 238.
2. NFHS: National Family Health Survey 1: 1992-93 and National Family Health Survey 2: 1998-99, India and different states.

12Recent estimates of the SRB by birth order from the NFHS by Retherford and Roy (2003) bring to the fore the increasing masculinity that was underway in Haryana and Punjab between 1978-92 and 1984-98, as far as childbirths are concerned. Not only are these two states conspicuously worse affected with regard to a declining share of girls among the newborns than the rest of India, but they also present a grimmer reality than is usually believed. Between the two selected time-periods, except for the first order births, the second and third order births became more and more male-dominated in the two adjoining states of Haryana and Punjab. For example, during the period under reference, the SRB went up from 100 to 114 and 111 to 123 (for the births at order two) and from 114 to 129 and from 117 to 136 (for births at order three) in Haryana and Punjab respectively. Such a wave of male births is reported to be more common among women in higher socio-economic statuses and is primarily attributed by Retherford and Roy to the large-scale practice of sex selective abortions in the region, often in conjunction with the ‘stopping rule’. Others also see the role of overall nutritional improvement and the greater use of medical services during pregnancy as well as at childbirth in the declining share of girls at birth, as these advances lower foetal wastages, which are composed numerically in favour of males (Klassen 1994, Bhat 2002). Stillbirth rates in Haryana and Punjab, as available from the SRS, show a mixed and mutually inconsistent trend. While it is logical to expect such rates to decline with medical progress and improvement in the basic living conditions of women in both the states, in Haryana they double and in Punjab they halve during 1971-97. In fact, the volume of stillbirths, with their reporting biases and other inadequacies duly accounted for, fail to tilt the focus of the SRB away from the voluntary termination of pregnancies before the full term.

Figure 2: Sex ratio at birth (SRB) in India and major states (1981-90 and 1996-98), SRS

Figure 2: Sex ratio at birth (SRB) in India and major states (1981-90 and 1996-98), SRS

Excess female mortality

13In addition to the sex ratio at birth, mortality during infancy and childhood can also alter the sex ratio patterns decisively if it affects one sex more significantly than the other. Between numerical surplus of males at birth and excess female mortality in childhood, the latter is regarded to be mainly responsible for making the child population masculine in Haryana and Punjab (Agnihotri 2000).

  • 5 Consistent with the findings from the NFHS (see Annexe, Table A3).

14The Indian mortality transition demonstrates a higher experience of death among females than males, specifically at a young age, up to the reproductive years. The fact that the survival of girls is a more difficult “affair” than the survival of boys in north-western India is borne out by the greater chances of death from birth to five years of age5 (Table 4). In spite of an overall rapid mortality decline in India since independence, and substantial progress in lowering mortality levels of all ages, the sex differentials in mortality for the child population remain fairly stable.

15If the child sex ratio has altered in recent times, it is more significantly because of change in the sex ratio at birth rather than an intensification of female excess mortality, as gender disadvantage in mortality is not new to females in Haryana and Punjab. This suggests that the increasing disequilibrium can be considered as a consequence of fertility decline, in a context of son preference.

Table 4: SRS-based levels and trends in sex differentials in infant and child mortality, India, Haryana and Punjab (1985-99)

Table 4: SRS-based levels and trends in sex differentials in infant and child mortality, India, Haryana and Punjab (1985-99)

Source: 1. Statistical Report (various issues), Sample Registration System (SRS), Registrar General, India.

Figure 3: Female disadvantage in child (0-4) mortality in India, Haryana and Punjab (1986-98) SRS

Figure 3: Female disadvantage in child (0-4) mortality in India, Haryana and Punjab (1986-98) SRS

Figure 4: Female disadvantage in infant (0-1) mortality in India, Haryana and Punjab (1985-99), SRS

Figure 4: Female disadvantage in infant (0-1) mortality in India, Haryana and Punjab (1985-99), SRS

Lower fertility: a catalyst of female discrimination?

16With a background of persisting son preference, falling fertility may be considered in the framework of a continually changing context, which we can characterize by interactions between economic welfare (increase of the per capita income), development (in terms of education, health, etc.), technical progress (availability of reproductive technology) and a reluctance for daughters (Figure 5).

Figure 5: A new context: dynamics of gender imbalance

Figure 5: A new context: dynamics of gender imbalance

17Recent discussions have focussed on declining fertility to explain rising masculinity among selected populations (Gu and Roy 1995, Park and Cho 1995, Das Gupta and Bhat 1997, Croll 2000, Li et al. 2000). With strong and almost unchanging son preference, couples are preventing more the birth of daughters than sons, being involved in an act of carefully balancing the twin goals of desired sex composition and fewer children.

18Given the socio-cultural characteristics of Haryana and Punjab, interaction between fertility behaviour and son preference needs to be specified through two distinct hypotheses, while considering fertility transition:

  • Hypothesis 1: The fertility decline is largely independent of social development (for instance, it is largely induced by family planning programmes); in a context of unchanging son preferences, it reinforces gender bias.

  • Hypothesis 2: The economic and social development induces simultaneous change in both fertility behaviour and preference for son(s); in this case female foeticide may also exist, but temporarily, depending on the relative speed of decline in fertility and decline in son preference.

19A new environment of reproduction is being manifested through fertility decline in these two states, as more couples are opting for smaller families. The declining total fertility rate, approximately by half from the early 70s to the late 90s in the two states (Figure 6), which is only paralleled by Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Tamil Nadu in the South in a totally different socio-cultural environment (Table 5), is the result of changes in the reproductive strategy of couples. Two successive rounds of the NFHS also record in the 1990s a rapid fall in fertility in Haryana and Punjab, much higher than the national standard, in which younger women (15-29) had a relatively lesser contribution than older women (30-49), a fact also confirmed by the SRS (UNFPA 2001).

Table 5: Fertility decline in major Indian states (1971-99)

Table 5: Fertility decline in major Indian states (1971-99)

Source: 1. Statistical Report (various issues), Sample Registration System (SRS), Registrar General, India.
Note: 1. ‘--’ Indicates that data are not available.

Figure 6: Relationship between change in child sex ratio (1991-2000) and change in total fertility rate (1991-1999) for major Indian states, excluding Kerala

Figure 6: Relationship between change in child sex ratio (1991-2000) and change in total fertility rate (1991-1999) for major Indian states, excluding Kerala

20If we link recent changes in the total fertility rate and in the child sex ratio at the state level, we see the specificity of Punjab and Haryana (Figure 7). For example, between 1991 and 1999, West Bengal, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh experienced a higher fertility decline and a smaller rise in masculinity than Haryana and Punjab. During 1971-99, Tamil Nadu and Haryana experienced nearly the same decline in fertility (per cent decline in TFR being around 49) and Kerala and Punjab experienced more than half that decline but, in the two southern states, the child sex ratio remained around 105 males for 100 females. This is evidence of the determining role played by the context of son preference.

  • 6 In the history of the Family Planning Programme in India, Punjab and Haryana are the frontline stat (...)

21In fact, fertility reduction in Haryana and Punjab was principally achieved through the implementation of a strong family planning programme6, without a commensurate decline in sex preference (Table 6).

22This means, at this stage of discussion, our first hypothesis may prevail. Couples want to be sure to have sons, and under the constraint of reduced family size, have to look for options that provide them with great certainty a reproductive strategy, balancing the twin goals of fewer children and at least one boy. If fertility decline had resulted from economic and social development, more global in nature, we might have expected a reduction in the preference for sons. There is no evidence of this alternative hypothesis.

Table 6: Selected indicators of son preference, Punjab, Haryana and India

Table 6: Selected indicators of son preference, Punjab, Haryana and India

Source: 1. National Family Health Survey (1: 1992-93, 2: 1998-99): Haryana, Punjab and India. Also Mutharayappa, R. et al. (1997).

  • 7 For an estimation of district-level TFRs, see Annexe, Table A3.

23In Haryana and Punjab, at the district level, the assessment of fertility decline in terms of spread and speed suffers from the non-availability of data, less reliability and the lack of comparability over time due to jurisdictional changes. It makes it difficult to link the changes in the child sex ratio with fertility reduction during 1991-2001. Figure 8, in which the child sex ratio is related to the total fertility rate7, at the district level, shows that about one-third of the variance in gender bias may be explained by the level of fertility.

Figure 7: Relationship between child sex ratio and total fertility rate for districts in Haryana and Punjab, 2001

Figure 7: Relationship between child sex ratio and total fertility rate for districts in Haryana and Punjab, 2001

A paradox: development without reduced son preference?

24Punjab and Haryana are largely viewed as “model” states because of the rapid pace of their economic growth, not only in the North, but also in the country as a whole. Most of this growth was achieved through the modernization of the traditional agricultural system, primarily through the “Green Revolution” in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Even today, agriculture continues to dominate the economy in both the states, with the share of agriculture and livestock still very high in the state gross domestic product (Singh 2001: 12). Agriculture-induced prosperity in these states trickled down substantially and resulted in better income for the households. The considerable success in raising the level of per capita income and reducing the incidence of poverty in Haryana and Punjab, which are no mean accomplishments, was reproduced in a better standard of living for the people, including those living in the villages. Access to basic amenities increased and the percentage of households with an electricity connection, drinking water from pipes or hand pumps, and toilet and latrine facilities in Haryana and Punjab reached a very high level. Not only has literacy substantially increased in Haryana and Punjab in recent times, but the gender disparity in literacy declined considerably in Punjab as compared with many other major Indian states (see Annexe, Tables A4 and A5). The percentage of female children aged 6-14 attending schools also remained higher than the national standard. Social consumption also remained very high in these two states, with Haryana and Punjab experiencing an increase in spending on social services between 1990-91 and 1998-99, unlike many other states in India (Mahendra Dev and Mooji 2002). The rural-urban gap in the provision of health care services decreased in Punjab (NIRD 1999) and the increased demand, besides the capacity to pay for the services, made private-sector participation in health care prominent in both states. Agricultural prosperity and the need for marketing of agricultural products also determined the urbanization process and had a role in making Haryana and Punjab highly urbanized, not only in the north-western region but also according to the national standard (Table A4, Annexe). Infrastructure development, transport, rural electrification and telecommunication and the appropriation of technology at all levels also substantially improved in these states as compared with other states in India in the 1980s and 1990s.

25In spite of overall prosperity penetrating many spheres of social and cultural life, the status of women has not decisively progressed. As a case in point, the decline in gender disparities in literacy has not been correspondingly reflected in the reduction of female discrimination at birth. On the contrary, some states with lower income and greater poverty than Haryana and Punjab have experienced a lower masculine child sex ratio. Recent rounds of the National Sample Survey (NSS) data, analysed separately for rural and urban areas by Agnihotri (2003) reveal that prosperity in general tends to make sex ratios (in the 0-14 year age group) more masculine. Richer households with higher consumption and greater money expenditure seem to have sex ratios unfavourable to women in Haryana and Punjab. Deliveries in medical institutions, prevalence of anaemia among children aged 6-35 months, lower participation of women in the labour force (in Punjab) and lower age at marriage (in Haryana) are some grey areas that appear not to have been notably affected by the overall economic progress in these two states.

Table 7: Selected indicators of female-specific discrimination, Haryana, Punjab, and India

Table 7: Selected indicators of female-specific discrimination, Haryana, Punjab, and India

Source: 1. National Family Health Survey (1: 1992-93 and 2: 1998-99), Haryana, Punjab and India. 2. Also Mutharayappa, R. et al. (1997).
Note: ‘*’ Based on a small sample,
i.e. less than 25 observations.

26A recent study (Levinson et al. 2003), comparing data on nutritional status after a gap of three decades, concludes that the economic growth in Punjab has dramatically reduced the level of malnutrition (both in the severe and moderate categories) among the children. Between 1971 and 2001, although the gender differences in nutritional deficiency declined substantially among the severely malnourished children, the reductions in gender differences among the moderately malnourished children have nonetheless remained virtually stagnant. Gender discrimination, still a dominant feature of society in Haryana and Punjab (Table 7), appears not to have significantly yielded to rapid development.

27The fact that the earlier lead is being reversed and economic growth is slowing down both in Haryana and Punjab in the post-reform period must also be seen as complementary to the deprivation of women and girl children. Recent studies have documented the deceleration of economic growth during the 1990s in these two states (Singh and Singh 2002, Ahluwalia 2000) due to agricultural stagnation. Less profitability and repeated episodes of failures in crop cultivation have caused extensive rural indebtedness in Punjab (Shergill 1998, CRRID 2001) and Haryana. As women and children are exposed to greater vulnerability during periods of crisis, it is appropriate to examine the impacts of structural adjustment programmes on these sections of the society. The earlier process of economic growth (1961-1981) did not lead to a reduction in masculinity of the child sex ratio and, now, the economic slow down goes side by side with an increase in masculinity of the child sex ratio.

Technological progress: new possibilities for old practices?

28In the discussion of child sex ratio changes, the access and use of medical technologies, particularly those geared to monitoring and evaluation of conception and pregnancy, are becoming increasingly important. Viewing the demographic distortions, particularly those related to the child sex ratio, through the social system alone may appear incomplete without reference to the reproductive technologies available and used in the region. Discussion on the circumstances in which technological use seems to flourish, as indicated by various sources, is essential to an understanding of the dynamics of the child sex ratio in Haryana and Punjab. It is widely felt that some of these prenatal diagnostic technologies, oriented toward the health and safety of the mother as well as of the child, are being diverted to the manipulation of the sex ratio at conception and at birth, albeit the former with less intensity than the latter. In fact, there are reasons to believe that technology has provided a new mode to replace female infanticide, which was a common practice in this part of country, with female foeticide.

29The turning to reproductive technologies that are used for sex selection is strongly rooted in the North Indian social system because of its social construction of gender. The lack of reproductive freedom of women, and more generally the whole range of social institutions, namely the law, family, culture and religion, provide appropriate situations for their utilization (Mazumdar 1992). On the basis of certain salient features of demand, the entire clientele of sex selection technology can be clustered broadly in three core situations (S1 to S3), as below:

30S1: son preference demand for technology independent of fertility level and trends increased supply as response to demand female foeticide (“we want more boys than girls, as ever”)

31S2: son preference and desire for less children (responsible for fertility decline) demand for technology increased supply as response to demand female foeticide (“we want less children than before and at least one boy”)

32S3: changes in economic and social environment reluctance for daughters demand for technology supply as response to demand foeticide (“we want the minimum of girls, and less girls than before”)

33Irrespective of the variations in motivations for sex selection technology, most forms of recourse to technology are ultimately manifested in the termination of the female foetus. In spite of this, the impact of such technology is very difficult to examine for the simple reason that it is extremely difficult to record its utilization, not only by official agencies but by non-governmental sources as well. Although clinics offering such technologies are extensively available in urban areas, due to legal and social reasons, it is often difficult to ascertain the clientele of these technologies, with both the providers and users being equally concerned about the privacy of use.

  • 8 Reliable and longitudinal data on termination of pregnancies that document the situation realistica (...)

34Reflections on the nature and scale of abortions in Haryana and Punjab, as encapsulated in recent surveys, must logically signify the scale of pregnancy terminations promoted by sex selection technology. Unfortunately, this is not so. Data on induced abortions from the National Family Heath Survey (Table 8) for a variety of reasons do not establish a broad correspondence between the use of technology and the rate of overall induced abortion in recent times, let alone the termination of female foetuses. This dichotomy can of course be explained by focussing on the sensitive nature of abortion in Indian society8. In fact, much would depend on the sex composition of these induced abortions.

Table 8: Trends in pregnancy outcomes for ever-married women, Haryana, Punjab, India (1992-93 to 1998-99)

Table 8: Trends in pregnancy outcomes for ever-married women, Haryana, Punjab, India (1992-93 to 1998-99)

Source: 1. National Family Health Survey (1992-93), 1995, India.
2. National Family Health Survey (1998-99), 2000, India.

35Notwithstanding the above statistics, which are underestimates of prevailing abortions in Haryana and Punjab, induced abortion is well accepted in Haryana and Punjab across major religious communities, castes, and economic groups. A recent survey in rural Rupnagar shows that among 1,004 women with a (youngest) child of less than two years of age, 7.6 per cent of the women had induced abortions, with 78 per cent only once, 13 per cent twice, and 1.3 per cent more than twice, up to the time of survey. It also found women in socially backward communities and landless households frequently resorting to the voluntary termination of pregnancies (Nanda 1999), in sharp departure from the earlier situation. This must lead one to consider not only the compulsions and consequences, but also the methods used.

Lure of sex selection technology

36Sex selection technologies are viewed as great liberators. They provide escape from the economic and social trauma that women undergo in the absence of sons and offer the surest means of preventing undesirable female births. Amniocentesis and ultrasonography are the two main modern methods that are widely available to the public for determination of the sex of the foetus in the states under discussion. But amniocentesis is gradually being replaced by the newer and more advanced ultrasonography, which has a high success rate. The third method, chorionic biopsy, using the cells of placenta, is not very popular among the couples, even if it effectively indicates the sex of the foetus in the ninth week. It is considered risky and financially costly, which prohibits many clinics from using it in on a mass scale. The extensive use of ultrasonography is due to two factors: its cost advantage and the non-invasive nature of the process. This method is so popular that some innovative clinics in the private sector started mobile services to meet the client demand in remote areas of Haryana and Punjab.

37The advances in assisted reproductive technology have also made it possible to now attempt sex selection before conception. For instance, the invitro fertilization (IVF) technique is also rapidly becoming popular in Haryana and Punjab, as elsewhere in India, as a result of the mushrooming of clinics providing infertility treatment. Through chromosome separation (X from Y) in the sperm, it is possible for the couples to avail of embryo selection, which ultimately makes the need for abortion redundant. But this is yet to replace ultrasound scanning as the most common method of sex selection.

38Once the sex of the foetus is ascertained to be female, however accurate this may be, the foetus is in most situations destined for termination, depending on circumstances in the individual households. The Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act of 1971, which made induced abortion legal (on specific grounds) and relieved the curbs that were prevalent before, boosted the use of sex selection technology. Of the medically terminated pregnancies, officially reported and classified by cause in Haryana and Punjab, those due to contraceptive failure and risk to the health of the mother are likely to include a huge part believed to be female.

The role of the private health sector

39The rapid progress in reproductive technology, its large-scale import, specifically by the private sector, into the region, and its easy availability have revolutionized the services available for the determination of the sex of the foetus, particularly in the past two decades. After North India’s first sex determination clinic came up in Punjab at Amritsar, clinics mushroomed (or added this facility to the existing range of services) in Haryana, Punjab, Chandigarh, Delhi and western Uttar Pradesh. The locational proximity of urban centres, namely Chandigarh and Delhi, the smaller size of the states, improved road network and transport, and the presence of a comparatively strong private sector greatly aided the test seekers and providers in establishing contact and cultivating long-term relationships. The abysmal state of the rural health care services in the government sector, particularly the failure of primary health centres, community health centres and district hospitals in providing sustainable service for antenatal, natal and postnatal care, other than immunization and family planning, seem to have also contributed to the booming business of sex determination.

40The fact that the legitimacy of the government health sector has eroded considerably in the recent past is an encouraging ground for the private clinicians to operate and keep control over the community. In the absence of basic facilities in the government sector, the private sector has weaned away a large number of clients, and created a constituency that is continually growing by any standard. In the absence of ultrasound facilities in the government hospitals, patients take recourse to private clinics. Having spent huge sums on the provision of infrastructure, including testing and related facilities, the private health entrepreneurs are in a perfect business position to recover their investments, with returns. The fact that the sex determination test business flourishes in both Haryana and Punjab is testimony to its immense acceptance among different communities. The high demand for the tests in the region can be seen in the context of the general awareness regarding the test. Earlier studies showed, for the belt of the Green Revolution, that among the ever-married women, more than two-thirds in Karnal and Kurukshehtra in Haryana, and almost three-fourths in Punjab were aware of the availability of the technology that enables them to know the sex of the fœtus, in 1990 and 1993 respectively (Nanda et al. 1993, NFHS 1995). The rural areas seem to catch up fast with the urban areas, and the rural-urban difference in the level of awareness is declining over time, as a comparison of studies indicates.

  • 9 Figures provided to the Supreme Court of India by the health authority in the respective states and (...)

41Public pressure and realization of the ethical and demographic consequences of sex determination led to legal recourse by the central government to prohibit the use of the technology for sex selection. The Prenatal Diagnostic (Regulation and Prevention of Misuse) Act, 1994 enacted by the union government, which only allowed the use of diagnostic techniques by the genetic clinics, genetic laboratories, and genetic counselling centres registered under the Act for detecting abnormalities, and subject to fulfilment of the conditions specified in the Act, seems to have proved to be totally ineffective in stemming the demand for, as well as the supply of, the sex selection technology. The Act prohibits disclosure of the sex of the fœtus, and prescribes punishments in terms of both fines and imprisonment for violation of the law. It further requires the submission of an affidavit indicating no intention to use the machines for sex determination tests, the restriction of the selling of the machine to unqualified persons, etc. Amendments to the Act in 2002 enlarge its scope by bringing the technique of pre-conception sex selection and the use of ultrasound machines into its purview, while making punishments more stringent and empowering the appropriate authority to search, seize and seal the machines, equipment, and records of the violators. In spite of the Act coming into force from January 1996, the formation of advisory committees in the states, registration of ultrasound machines with the district health administration, inclusion of the patient’s address, the reason for the test as well as the abortion in the records of the clinics, the prohibition of advertisements remained extremely slow, moving ahead primarily due to sustained campaigning and judicial intervention. The reported violation of the law is almost negligible, largely because the provisions in the Act are difficult to monitor and implement. The first reported prosecution in these states came in 2001, from Faridabad in Haryana. By April 2002, a total of 852 ultrasound machines were registered in Punjab, 626 in Haryana and 46 in Chandigarh, capital of the two states, with comparatively more prosperous districts in both the states reporting greater concentrations of machines: 150 in Jalandhar as against 3 in Mansa in Punjab, and 78 in Faridabad, as against 13 each in Kaithal and Jhajjar in Haryana9.

42The availability of ultrasound machines– i.e. technical progress-has played a relatively more decisive role in shaping the child sex ratio patterns in the recent period. But another contextual element that can be considered pertains to the religious composition of the two states.

Religion: different attitudes towards the girl child?

43Hindus and Sikhs are numerically the two dominant communities in the region and in the early 1990s together accounted for 95 and 97 per cent of total population in Haryana and in Punjab respectively. But Sikhs constitute a minority in Haryana (about 6 per cent of the population) and a majority in Punjab (about 63 per cent). The religious composition makes the two states, which have many similarities compared to rest of India, different among themselves.

44How is that the deficit of females in the child population is intense in India in a region that is home to one of the most progressive religions, Sikhism? Compared to some dominant views in Hinduism, the Sikh tenets are known for equality and positive fervour towards women. It is widely believed that the emergence of Sikhism as a new religion brought the idea of gender equality a step forward from Hinduism, and attacked the discrimination against women due to physiological differences. Sikh Gurus worked for the social uplift of women by condemning “Sati” and “Purdha”, denouncing (female) infanticide, encouraging widow remarriage and promoting active participation in public life (Singh 1979). Yet, Sikhism did not carry the concept of equality into the homes and failed to change the basics, as it did not succeed in giving a share to the daughter in ancestral property. Much of the space that Sikhism created for women as well as the low caste population was within the patriarchal framework (Singh: 283) and mostly in religious spheres. Moreover, Sikhism also did not make any significant difference to the male child as opposed to the female in matters of family lineage and the performance of religious rites. Efforts that were underway to change the status of women and backward classes did not yield substantial results, as recorded in recent history.

45Both religions, Sikhism and Hinduism, became secondary to the social, economic, cultural and technological forces that are vastly arrayed against women. Social acceptance and tolerance of the termination of female foetuses and some of the discrimination against girl children are reflections of subordination of universal religious values pleading “sanctity of life” to modern aspirations. Although in recent times Hindu and Sikh religious leaders have been quick in recognizing the problem of female foeticide and issuing edicts to refrain from this practice, the chances that this will trickle down seems doubtful.

Preference for boys: many reasons not to have a girl

46Haryana and Punjab were home to a strong male dominance in mediaeval history that extends up to the modern period. Historical developments, besides social structure and economic organization, had much to do with the lower status of females, which has been deeply ingrained in the general psyche. For example, regular cross-border invasion, a male oriented agricultural system, the presence of a sizeable section of lower caste population, the focus on male-dominated religious practices, rituals, and kinship system, the absence of strong social reform movements, etc. have contributed greatly to the higher value of the male child in traditional Haryanavi as well as Punjabi society. Oldenburg (2003) charges much of the colonial administration with engineering a masculine environment in the erstwhile undivided Punjab. To her, son preference ironically intensified significantly in this region, mainly in the period (1850-70) when the imperialist power did most to discover, investigate and outlaw female infanticide. Capitalist ideas, ingrained in the desire to augment and sustain revenue collection, extended patriarchy and deepened the subjugation of women. The introduction of two major instruments to privatize and market land--namely the ‘ryotwari system’ and codification of ‘customary law’-- made men, the tillers, the exclusive owners of land and alienated women from this resource, a most productive one in a rural set-up, and accentuated the dependency of women on men, be they husbands, brothers or sons. This, in her view, made the gender relations highly skewed, cutting across caste, class and regional cleavages. The emergence of a ‘middle class’ and attempts to enhance ‘social status’ led to the appropriation of customs, values and behaviours of higher castes and resulted in a rearrangement of women’s relations with men in a manner that deteriorated women’s lives (Malhotra 2002, Snehi 2003) in colonial Punjab. Ironically, as Malhotra (2002) finds, the social reformers, with large followings among the upper class and upper caste population, subjugated women further through the promotion of ‘dowry’ by labelling ‘bridewealth’ the ‘selling of girls’ and by controlling female sexuality for concerns of purity.

47There are still many reasons, in the popular perception for not having a female child. The traditions of dowry, the patrilocal custom of women living with the husband’s family after marriage, the son’s role at the parent’s funeral as well as ancestor worship, the continuation of the family lineage and expectations in old-age make boys economic as well as social assets, and render the girls as liabilities. In these societies mutuality and enjoyment of the husband and wife relationship is subordinated to a culturally sanctioned urgency to produce a child, preferably a son, to prove the woman’s fecundity and to stabilize her position as a wife (Abbi et al. 2000).

48For a deeper understanding of the continuance of sex preference and its general effects on reproductive behaviour in Haryana and Punjab, the changing ethos is to be put in perspective in modern times, as there has been an enormous change in the context of son preference through transformations in social structure and economic organization. For instance, the transformation of the society from an essentially traditional, agrarian, socially coherent, collective, less mobile, highly fecund community to one with growth of individualism, consumerist outlook, global orientation, higher aspirations for rapid social mobility, acceptance of contraception, wider availability and use of reproductive technology, exposure to communication, and acceptance of new social mores, etc., have created new avenues of sharp differences in the “worth” of female and male children. Not only has “dowry” or bride price appeared in communities hitherto unknown for such practice, its nature and magnitude registered a phenomenal change, fuelled by consumerist lifestyles among groups already indulging in it. Community and simple weddings have disappeared, with large expenses on marriage ceremonies either wiping out the lifetime savings of the parents or causing indebtedness. Finding a “suitable” match for the daughter, within the framework of accepted social mores, is proving no easy task for the parents and other family members. Rapid deterioration of conditions of living brought about by rising unemployment, decline in profitability in agriculture, rise in costs of social services including health and education and the aspiration for a higher standard of living increase the dowry contribution, to the devaluation of the girl child.

Conclusion

49The changing patterns of the sex ratio for the children aged 0-6 years in Haryana and Punjab, principally described by rising masculinity, is an issue made intricate by an interplay of historical, social, cultural and economic issues and technological forces. In societies where the number of living sons, rather than the number of living children, is the crucial predictor of fertility and contraceptive behaviour of the couples, and where the male-female children are “valued” essentially differently by a vast majority, the recent trends in economic development, interfaced with increased privatization, have added new dimensions to son preference and strategies of female discrimination.

50In the rapidly changing social milieu of Haryana and Punjab, the trend towards the masculinity of the child population lies in the rising sex ratio at birth and excess female child mortality. While widespread adoption of sex selective technologies has enhanced the ability of parents to choose a son rather than a daughter, newer forces of social change have added to the marginalization of the girl child. The fact that Haryana and Punjab, two of the most developed states of the Indian Union, are at the core of rising gender disparity and foremost in child masculinity, radiating rapidly outward to other areas, is a matter for further exploration.

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Annexes

ANNEXE

Table A1. Sex ratio at birth in India, Haryana, and Punjab (1982-1999)

Table A1. Sex ratio at birth in India, Haryana, and Punjab (1982-1999)

Source: 1. National Family Health Survey (NFHS 1: 1992-93 and NFHS 2: 1998-99), India and different states.

Table A2. NFHS-based levels and trends in sex differential neonatal, post-neonatal, infant and child mortality, India, Haryana and Punjab (1992-93 and 1998-99)

Table A2. NFHS-based levels and trends in sex differential neonatal, post-neonatal, infant and child mortality, India, Haryana and Punjab (1992-93 and 1998-99)

Source: National Family Health Survey (NFHS 1: 1992-93 and NFHS 2: 1998-99), India

Table A3. Inter-district variations in fertility, Haryana, and Punjab (2001)

District/State

CBR

TFR

Amritsar

21.3

2.7

Bathinda

19.6

2.4

FG Sahib

19.5

2.4

Faridkot

19.2

2.3

Firozpur

23.3

2.8

Gurdaspur

20.6

2.4

Hoshiarpur

19.2

2.3

Jalandhar

17.8

2.1

Kapurthala

18.9

2.2

Nawansahar

18.3

2.2

Ludhiana

19.1

2.3

Mansa

21.9

2.7

Moga

19.5

2.4

Muktsar

20.8

2.6

Patiala

19.6

2.3

Rupnagar

20.0

2.4

Sangrur

20.6

2.5

PUNJAB

20.1

2.4

Ambala

20.9

2.4

Bhiwani

25.5

3.3

Faridabad

29.9

3.7

Fatehabad

26.3

3.2

Gurgaon

35.2

4.5

Hissar

25.3

3.1

Jhajjar

24.3

3.1

Jind

26.0

3.3

Kaithal

25.1

3.1

Karnal

24.0

3.0

Kurukshetra

23.0

2.7

Mahendragarh

25.5

3.3

Panchkula

24.1

2.8

Panipat

27.5

3.5

Rewari

25.0

3.1

Rohtak

23.5

3.0

Sirsa

24.7

2.9

Sonipat

24.4

3.1

Yamunanagar

22.7

2.8

HARYANA

25.9

3.2

Source: 1. Guilmoto, Christophe and Rajan S. Irudaya (2002) District Level Estimates of Fertility from India’s 2001 Census, Economic and Political Weekly, XXXVII(7), pp. 665-672.

Table A4. Selected indicators of economic progress in major Indian States

Table A4. Selected indicators of economic progress in major Indian States

Source:
1. Poverty ratio: Planning Commission, as in Economic Survey, 2001-2002,Government of India, Ministry of Finance, Economic Division (nd). Per capita NSDP: Economic survey, 2001-2,Government of India, Ministry of Finance, Economic Division (nd.). Consumption of selected fertilisers: Agricultural statistics at a glance 2000, Department of Agriculture and Cooperation, Ministry of agriculture, Government of India, New Delhi, April 2000. Irrigation: Statistical Abstract of Punjab 2000, Economic and Statistical Organisation, Government of Punjab, Chandigarh. Female workforce participation rate, Literacy, Gender disparity in literacy, and Urbanisation: Census of India 2001. Households with electricity, and toilet and latrine: National Family Health Survey 2.
Note:
1. ‘`*’ indicates at current prices, ‘**’ area irrigated as percentage to net area sown, ‘#’ relates to the year 1995-96,’@’ relates to year 1993-94, ‘$’ adhoc estimates .
2. Consumption of fertilisers relates only to Nitrogen, Phosphate and Potash.

Table A5 Selected indicators of district-level variations in development, Haryana, and Punjab

Table A5 Selected indicators of district-level variations in development, Haryana, and Punjab

Source:
1. Birth order, Current use of family planning, Age at marriage, Immunization, Attention during delivery: Rapid Household Survey (RHS), District-wise Social Economic Demographic Indicators, National Commission on Population (NCP), Government of India, New Delhi, July 2001. Female work participation rate, Female literacy, Gender disparity in literacy, Per cent of SC population, Level of organization: Census of India. Landholding: Economic and Statistical Organisation in Haryana and in Punjab, Chandigarh.
Note:
1. For Haryana, the landholding data pertains to 1995-96 and for Punjab to 1990-91. Estimates are derived from the adjoining districts for a newly created district for which data are not available.

Notes

1 “Child” is used for the 0-6 age group, for which the 2001 Indian census reports the provisional figures. Labelling of the population aged 0-6 as ‘child’ is derived from the Census of India, which classified, for the first time in 1991, the entire population in two segments, those aged 0-6 and those aged 7 and above, to measure more meaningfully the literacy level in the country.

2 The entire state of Punjab is broadly divided into three geographical regions, namely Doaba, Majha, and Malwa. The districts lying between the Beas and Sutlej rivers are included in the Doaba region, the districts between the Beas and Ravi rivers are included in the Majha region, and the districts below the Sutlej river are included in the Malwa region. Some of the social, cultural and economic characteristics of the population in Punjab, such as the language, marriage pattern, kinship relations, agricultural landholding size, etc., are clustered into three regions, although with the time, the interregional differences are becoming increasingly blurred. Though less frequently used, similar regional grouping of districts in Haryana into the Eastern Plain, the Western Plain and the Southern Plain, is also attempted in order to explain the variations in religion, culture, and language among the people in the State.

3 Even if successive censuses in India are known for under-enumeration of females in varying degrees, under-enumeration as a cause of sex ratio decline has not been conclusively established (Visaria 1971, Miller 1984, Krishnaji 2001).

4 The sources that provide information on sex ratio at birth are extremely limited in India, and suffer from quality lapses. For instance, the retrospective sample surveys for India, and for the individual states demonstrate extensive fluctuations from year to year, as illustrated in data from the two consecutive rounds of NFHS. The sex ratio at birth has been linked to the mother’s education and gender preference in India where, Rose (1995) finds that illiterate women report a higher sex ratio at birth than the mothers who are either literate, or have some formal education.

5 Consistent with the findings from the NFHS (see Annexe, Table A3).

6 In the history of the Family Planning Programme in India, Punjab and Haryana are the frontline states, with aggressive methods of recruiting new clients, fixation of numerical targets and strong reliance on incentives. Since the mid-seventies both states experienced vigorous programme efforts to popularize female sterilization and the intrauterine device (IUD), and to some extent the condom, particularly in the government sector, with strong support from the political leadership, bureaucracy and medical fraternity. The level of contraceptive use is very high in these two states compared with the national standard, as indicated by official service statistics and independent sample surveys. According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India (Year Book 1997-98), Punjab ranked first among all the states and union territories in the percentage of couples currently protected by all modern methods (78), and Haryana (58) came close after Pondicherry (59), Gujarat (59), and Karnataka (58) on 31 March 1998. The recently completed NFHS 2 (1998-99) estimates for Haryana and Punjab the current use of contraception as 62 and 67 per cent from all methods, and 53 and 54 per cent from all modern methods respectively, as against 48 and 43 per cent for whole of the country.

7 For an estimation of district-level TFRs, see Annexe, Table A3.

8 Reliable and longitudinal data on termination of pregnancies that document the situation realistically, though essential for investigation of the higher male births, are unfortunately unavailable. For the induced abortions, undertaken at government hospitals and clinics, the available figures are not representative, as restrictions, intended and unintended, in the medical termination of pregnancy in government hospitals severely limit access to such services by couples. The hospitals, particularly in rural areas, lack the facilities to carry out medical termination of pregnancy, and not every doctor is authorized by the government to undertake such an exercise. In fact, when approached for a medical termination of pregnancy, most of the government doctors show reluctance, counsel restraint and suggest carrying the foetus to full term, decline confidentiality and conduct termination relatively late. The need for privacy, quality, immediate attention and the capacity to pay, etc., often weigh highly in favour of the private sector. To this extent, the data from government sources on induced abortions are underestimated. Similarly, the large-scale sample surveys also fail to depict the extensive practice of abortions, as recording of the pregnancy history, particularly the abortions, is a difficult affair for obvious reasons. Spontaneous abortions in the first trimester of pregnancy are also hard to record retrospectively, as women themselves are unable to report them. For social and cultural reasons, induced abortions are not discussed in public, suppressed and may be reported as spontaneous ones. Often the distinction between induced abortion and stillbirth is also inadvertently blurred during reporting.

9 Figures provided to the Supreme Court of India by the health authority in the respective states and union territories in India.

Table des illustrations

Titre Table 1: Inter-state variations in child (0-6 years) sex ratio in India (1961-2001)
Légende Source: 1. Final Population Totals, India, Census of India 1991, Paper 2 of 1991.2. Provisional Population Totals, India, Census of India 2001, Paper 1 of 2001.Note: ‘…’ indicates that the states were part of other states, and ‘--’ indicates the census was not conducted in Assam in 1981, and in Jammu and Kashmir in 1991.
URL http://books.openedition.org/ifp/docannexe/image/4504/img-1.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 270k
Titre Figure 1: Trends in child sex ratio (0-6) for India, Haryana and Punjab, 1961-2001
URL http://books.openedition.org/ifp/docannexe/image/4504/img-2.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 72k
Titre Table 3: Sex ratio at birth for India and major states, 1981-98 (number of male births for 100 female births)
Légende Source: 1. SRS: Bose, Ashish, (2001), Estimates from Sample Registration System (SRS), Registrar General, India, p. 238.2. NFHS: National Family Health Survey 1: 1992-93 and National Family Health Survey 2: 1998-99, India and different states.
URL http://books.openedition.org/ifp/docannexe/image/4504/img-3.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 150k
Titre Figure 2: Sex ratio at birth (SRB) in India and major states (1981-90 and 1996-98), SRS
URL http://books.openedition.org/ifp/docannexe/image/4504/img-4.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 85k
Titre Table 4: SRS-based levels and trends in sex differentials in infant and child mortality, India, Haryana and Punjab (1985-99)
Légende Source: 1. Statistical Report (various issues), Sample Registration System (SRS), Registrar General, India.
URL http://books.openedition.org/ifp/docannexe/image/4504/img-5.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 157k
Titre Figure 3: Female disadvantage in child (0-4) mortality in India, Haryana and Punjab (1986-98) SRS
URL http://books.openedition.org/ifp/docannexe/image/4504/img-6.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 54k
Titre Figure 4: Female disadvantage in infant (0-1) mortality in India, Haryana and Punjab (1985-99), SRS
URL http://books.openedition.org/ifp/docannexe/image/4504/img-7.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 55k
Titre Figure 5: A new context: dynamics of gender imbalance
URL http://books.openedition.org/ifp/docannexe/image/4504/img-8.png
Fichier image/png, 9,6k
Titre Table 5: Fertility decline in major Indian states (1971-99)
Légende Source: 1. Statistical Report (various issues), Sample Registration System (SRS), Registrar General, India.Note: 1. ‘--’ Indicates that data are not available.
URL http://books.openedition.org/ifp/docannexe/image/4504/img-9.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 257k
Titre Figure 6: Relationship between change in child sex ratio (1991-2000) and change in total fertility rate (1991-1999) for major Indian states, excluding Kerala
URL http://books.openedition.org/ifp/docannexe/image/4504/img-10.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 44k
Titre Table 6: Selected indicators of son preference, Punjab, Haryana and India
Légende Source: 1. National Family Health Survey (1: 1992-93, 2: 1998-99): Haryana, Punjab and India. Also Mutharayappa, R. et al. (1997).
URL http://books.openedition.org/ifp/docannexe/image/4504/img-11.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 139k
Titre Figure 7: Relationship between child sex ratio and total fertility rate for districts in Haryana and Punjab, 2001
URL http://books.openedition.org/ifp/docannexe/image/4504/img-12.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 49k
Titre Table 7: Selected indicators of female-specific discrimination, Haryana, Punjab, and India
Légende Source: 1. National Family Health Survey (1: 1992-93 and 2: 1998-99), Haryana, Punjab and India. 2. Also Mutharayappa, R. et al. (1997).Note: ‘*’ Based on a small sample, i.e. less than 25 observations.
URL http://books.openedition.org/ifp/docannexe/image/4504/img-13.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 240k
Titre Table 8: Trends in pregnancy outcomes for ever-married women, Haryana, Punjab, India (1992-93 to 1998-99)
Légende Source: 1. National Family Health Survey (1992-93), 1995, India.2. National Family Health Survey (1998-99), 2000, India.
URL http://books.openedition.org/ifp/docannexe/image/4504/img-14.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 92k
Titre Table A1. Sex ratio at birth in India, Haryana, and Punjab (1982-1999)
Légende Source: 1. National Family Health Survey (NFHS 1: 1992-93 and NFHS 2: 1998-99), India and different states.
URL http://books.openedition.org/ifp/docannexe/image/4504/img-15.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 182k
Titre Table A2. NFHS-based levels and trends in sex differential neonatal, post-neonatal, infant and child mortality, India, Haryana and Punjab (1992-93 and 1998-99)
Légende Source: National Family Health Survey (NFHS 1: 1992-93 and NFHS 2: 1998-99), India
URL http://books.openedition.org/ifp/docannexe/image/4504/img-16.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 206k
Titre Table A4. Selected indicators of economic progress in major Indian States
Légende Source:1. Poverty ratio: Planning Commission, as in Economic Survey, 2001-2002,Government of India, Ministry of Finance, Economic Division (nd). Per capita NSDP: Economic survey, 2001-2,Government of India, Ministry of Finance, Economic Division (nd.). Consumption of selected fertilisers: Agricultural statistics at a glance 2000, Department of Agriculture and Cooperation, Ministry of agriculture, Government of India, New Delhi, April 2000. Irrigation: Statistical Abstract of Punjab 2000, Economic and Statistical Organisation, Government of Punjab, Chandigarh. Female workforce participation rate, Literacy, Gender disparity in literacy, and Urbanisation: Census of India 2001. Households with electricity, and toilet and latrine: National Family Health Survey 2. Note:1. ‘`*’ indicates at current prices, ‘**’ area irrigated as percentage to net area sown, ‘#’ relates to the year 1995-96,’@’ relates to year 1993-94, ‘$’ adhoc estimates . 2. Consumption of fertilisers relates only to Nitrogen, Phosphate and Potash.
URL http://books.openedition.org/ifp/docannexe/image/4504/img-17.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 279k
Titre Table A5 Selected indicators of district-level variations in development, Haryana, and Punjab
Légende Source: 1. Birth order, Current use of family planning, Age at marriage, Immunization, Attention during delivery: Rapid Household Survey (RHS), District-wise Social Economic Demographic Indicators, National Commission on Population (NCP), Government of India, New Delhi, July 2001. Female work participation rate, Female literacy, Gender disparity in literacy, Per cent of SC population, Level of organization: Census of India. Landholding: Economic and Statistical Organisation in Haryana and in Punjab, Chandigarh.Note:1. For Haryana, the landholding data pertains to 1995-96 and for Punjab to 1990-91. Estimates are derived from the adjoining districts for a newly created district for which data are not available.
URL http://books.openedition.org/ifp/docannexe/image/4504/img-18.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 550k

Auteurs

Reader at Population Research Centre, Centre for Research in Rural and Industrial Development (CRRID), Sector 19A, Chandigarh 160 019, INDIA.
akn_aswini@yahoo.co.in

Deputy Director at Institut National d’Etudes Demographiques (INED), 133, Boulevard Davout, 75980 Paris cedex 20, France. A revised version of the paper is being published separately in the forthcoming issue of the Indian Social Science Review (ISSR), New Delhi.
veron@ined.fr

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