Sex ratio more skewed in northern States: NCW

Press Trust of India New Delhi | Updated on March 14, 2012

Delhi, Punjab and Haryana may be economically progressive but have a skewed sex ratio compared with other States, a new study by the National Commission for Women (NCW) has said.

Decades of struggle against gender discrimination has borne little with statistics showing that “huge” gender deficits continue to persist in the country, especially in economically developed States, it said.

The report, ‘Understanding Gender Equality in India 2012', a joint initiative of NCW and the United Nations, is based on data collected from various ministries and commissions, including the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the Election Commission and the Home Ministry.

While there has been a marginal increase in the country's sex ratio from 933 in 2001 to 940 in 2011, significant variations exist among the States, with Kerala and Puducherry recording a sex ratio in favour of women, while Delhi, Chandigarh and Haryana have an adverse ratio.

Interestingly, Delhi, Chandigarh and Haryana are economically quite progressive based on the per capita Net State Domestic Product (NSDP) which shows that Haryana has a per capita NSDP of Rs 78,781 while Delhi and Punjab have per capita NSDP of Rs 11,6886 and Rs 62,153, respectively, it said.

The report also noted that the difference between the number of men and women is lesser in rural areas than in urban India, with the former being pegged at 919 women for every 1,000 men and the latter 902 per 1,000.

The worst-hit district is Haryana's Jhajjar with a ratio of 774 to 1,000 and next is Mahendragarh with a sex ratio of 778 females to 1,000 males.

“It is a national emergency,” NCW Chairperson, Ms Mamta Sharma, said, while releasing the report.

“Everyone says India is a developing nation, but how can we say this when the discrimination against women is so stark, so open,” she asked.

Figures related to violence against women in the country are also dismal. According to the report, 30 per cent of the women in India experienced physical violence while 8 per cent experienced sexual violence.

While Bihar registered the highest number of cases of physical violence against women, West Bengal tops the list in terms of number of sexual offences.

Our Constitution is not spared either. Women occupy less than 8 per cent of the Cabinet positions, less than 9 per cent of seats in high courts and Supreme Court and less than 12 per cent of administrators and managers are women,” said Ms Charu Wali Khanna, quoting the report.

“The data is pointing to the fact that unless a comprehensive multi-pronged approach to gender equality is conceptualised and orchestrated, a girl's survival will not essentially translate into securing her freedoms and further visibility,” she said.

Published on March 14, 2012

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