Sex Selection

The practice of sex selection with the intention of eliminating the girl child trails back to the pre-independence period. This has led to an unbalanced sex ratio in India which stands at 940 females per 1000 males (Census 2011). The highly disproportionate sex ratio reflects the culturally rooted gender inequalities. The preference for male child in our society is widely known and acknowledged, so much so that the state has sponsored schemes to ‘promote’ the girl child providing the benefits to the family and the girl at different stages of her life. The woman who gives birth to a girl child is meted with violence and discrimination. They are forced to undergo abortion and live under a constant fear and a continuum of violence

The Pre Conception and Pre Natal Diagnostics Techniques Act (1994) prohibit the very act of sex selection and regulate pre-natal diagnostic techniques. The Act has done very less to curb the disproportionate sex ratio with a mere 10% conviction rate. As a result of the litigation undertaken by the Reproductive Rights Initiative, the Supreme Court of India has issued stricter directions to the states and the centre focusing on the implementation of the law.  

The act of sex selective abortion stems from a patriarchal mindset with both men and women committing to it. The PCPNDT Act as such targets the technology involved, what we need is the change of mindset and values which discriminates against the girl child.