UN report: Girl child mortality escalating in India

RSTV Bureau

childrenIndia is among the countries with the largest surplus of men and a worrying under-five sex ratio with more girls dying before the age of five than boys, says a UN report.

The freshly released “The World’s Women 2015″ report reads that men outnumber women in eastern, southern and western Asia.

The three regions have the highest surplus of men in absolute numbers: 50.5 million in Eastern Asia, specifically China; 49.5 million in Southern Asia, under which India falls, and 12.1 million in Western Asia comprising Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

The ratio of men to women and the surplus of men in India and China, the two most populous countries, largely determine the surplus of men observed at the global level, the report said.

The report further says that in India, “while sex-selective abortions have been technically illegal since 1996, the law has had “little effect so far on the sex ratio at birth”.

India has the lowest sex ratio in under-5 mortality, with a ratio of 93 boys:100 girls, 93 boys die before age 5 for 100 girls that die by that age.

India alone accounted for 21 per cent of under-5 deaths in 2013 and this low sex ratio in under-5 mortality is pulling down the average for Southern Asia as a whole and the entire world.

The disappointing statistics was supported by the reasons behind the numbers.

“Higher mortality among girls can be closely related to a general preference for sons in India, which is expressed in special treatment for boys in terms of parental investment in nutrition, vaccinations, access to health treatment and parental care in general,” the report said.

It further said that in China and India, between 1995 and 2013, women’s participation in the labour force declined from 72 to 64 per cent and from 35 to 27 per cent, respectively.

Child marriage is also most common in south Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, with India accounting for one-third of the global total of child brides.

(With inputs from PTI)