February 2017 News

Declining Sex Ratio Matter Of Concern: Economic Survey Report

4 February 2017
Greater Kashmir
Mukeet Akmali

Srinagar: Despite efforts by the government, the Jammu and Kashmir continues to witness decline in sex ratio of females in comparison to males, with official report terming it as a 'matter of concern', stating that low sex ratio shows indulgence of 'artificial interventions, distorting the biological trend and natural balance.' As per Economic Survey report tabled in the Budget Session of the Legislative Assembly last month, the Himalayan state is witnessing low sex ratio in comparison to all India level. 'The sex ratio as per census 2011 is 889 which is a matter of great concern and needs to be addressed on priority,' it states adding that the sex ratio as per 2001 census was 892 which was also unfavorable to the women of the state. Sex ratio (females per thousand of males) is an important indicator of the social conditions particularly with respect to women's status in the society. ' An important concern in the present status of Jammu and Kashmir's demographic transition relates to adverse sex ratio,' the ES report states adding that ' Low sex ratio shows indulgence of artificial interventions, distorting the biological trend and natural balance in terms of number of females per thousand males.' Interestingly, Jammu and Kashmir is among the seven worst states having lowest SRB in the country- Haryana (866), Uttar Pradesh (869), Punjab (870), Uttarakhand (871), Delhi (876) and Rajasthan (893). 'Gender differential still exists both in rural and urban areas but it is comparatively higher in rural areas. This can be attributed to a number of factors viz lack of acesss to schools, parents, feeling insecure about sending girl children to school, their engagement in agricultural and other domestic activities, etc,' the report points out. To mention, under India's Pre-Conception & Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act 1994 (PCPNDT Act) , determining the gender of an unborn child is banned to stop sex-selective abortions which have led to an alarming fall in the number of girls born as compared to boys in India.Sex ratio at birth - the number of girls born per 1,000 boys - in India fell from 945 in 1991, to 927 in 2001, to 914 in 2011, according to census data. This is reflecting in adult sex ratio too, with India being home to 940 women per 1,000 men. Globally, there are 984 women to 1,000 men, with Russia boasting of 1,165 women per 1,000 men. Since women live longer than men, all developed countries including US, UK, Japan, Germany, France and Australia have a higher female population than men. The report mentions that education of women is very effective tool for women empowerment not only from the point of view of literacy, but it has inter-linkage with other social parameters viz population growth, health care, education of children etc. Jammu and Kashmir's literacy rate has increased by 11.64 percent in last decade i.e. from 55.2 percent in 2001 census to 67.16 percent in 2011 census. While female literacy has increased from 43 percent to 56 percent in the same period.