Tuesday March 19, 2019
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Study Records That Over 200,000 Girls in India Are Killed Each Year As a Result of Gender Bias

Apart from the rising number of female foeticide cases in India, more than 200,000 girls under the age of five die each year in the country, finds a Lancet study led by an Indian-origin researcher.

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Child marriage
Child bride Krishna, 12, stands at a doorway into her compound in a village near Baran, in India's Rajasthan state. Despite a law banning girls from marrying before they turn 18, the practice is deeply rooted in tradition and widely accepted in Indian society. (VOA)

Apart from the rising number of female foeticide cases in India, more than 200,000 girls under the age of five die each year in the country, finds a Lancet study led by an Indian-origin researcher.

The study, published in the journal Lancet Global Health, has found that there is on an average 239,000 excess deaths each year of girls under the age of five owing to neglect due to gender discrimination.

The numbers which are particularly higher in the northern states of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, are mostly due to unwanted child bearing and subsequent neglect.

For too long, the focus has been only on prenatal sex selection, said co-researcher Christophe Guilmoto from the Universite Paris Descartes in France.

“Gender-based discrimination towards girls doesn’t simply prevent them from being born, it may also precipitate the death of those who are born,” he said.

The figures which are around 2.4 million in a decade can only be checked with stress on female literacy and employment in modern industries, the researchers noted.

Rohingya Children
Representational Image. VOA

“Regional estimates of excess deaths of girls shows any intervention in the food and health care allocation should particularly target Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, where poverty, low social development, and patriarchal institutions persist and investments on girls are limited,” said Nandita Saikia postdoctoral research scholar at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) in Austria.

Excess female child mortality is also found in 90 per cent of the districts in the country.

In all, 29 out of 35 states in India had overall excess mortality in girls under five, and all states and territories bar two had at least one district with excess mortality.

The problem is most pronounced in northern India, — Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh — which account for two-thirds of the total excess deaths.

In Uttar Pradesh excess female mortality was calculated at 30.5 per cent, while in Bihar the rate is 28.5, in Rajasthan 25.4, and in Madhya Pradesh 22.1.

In parts of western Rajasthan and northern Bihar, excess mortality as a result of gender bias accounts for 30-50 per cent of the mortality rate of females under five.

Also Read: Does Social Media Make Young Girls Unhappy?

Saikia noted that if there were no excess female deaths in India, the country could have achieved its Millennium Development Goal target on child mortality, of 42 deaths per 1,000 births, very easily.

The study “reinforces the need to address directly the issue of gender discrimination in addition to encouraging social and economic development for its benefits on Indian women,” she said. (IANS)

Next Story

WhatsApp and NASSCOM To Come Up With Digital Literacy Training To Curb Fake News

"This training educates people throughout India to be mindful of the messages they receive and to verify the facts before forwarding,"

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The first training will be on March 27 in Delhi and will be followed by more planned interventions like hosting training workshops for representatives from rural and urban areas along with roadshows across numerous colleges. Pixabay

As part of the partnership, WhatsApp and NASSCOM Foundation will train nearly 1,00,000 Indians to spot false information and provide tips and tricks to stay safe on WhatsApp.

The co-created curriculum, which includes real-world anecdote tools that can be used to verify a forwarded message and actions that users can take like reporting problematic content to fact checkers and other law enforcement agencies, will be disseminated in multiple regional languages.

“We are excited to expand our partnerships with civil society to advance crucial digital literacy skills that can help combat misinformation share on WhatsApp,” Abhijit Bose, Head of India, WhatsApp, said in a statement.

“This training educates people throughout India to be mindful of the messages they receive and to verify the facts before forwarding,” he added.

The training will be imparted by volunteers from NASSCOM Foundation who will launch the “each one teach three” campaign that mandates every volunteer to share their learnings with three more persons leading to a network effect.

These volunteers will post their takeaways from the workshops on their social media handles to increase the reach of these safety messages.

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As part of the partnership, WhatsApp and NASSCOM Foundation will train nearly 1,00,000 Indians to spot false information and provide tips and tricks to stay safe on WhatsApp.
Pixabay

The first training will be on March 27 in Delhi and will be followed by more planned interventions like hosting training workshops for representatives from rural and urban areas along with roadshows across numerous colleges.

“The use of technology platforms like WhatsApp are inherently meant to foster social good, harmony, and collaboration, but are sadly being used by a small number of miscreants to entice anger and hatred by spreading false and doctored information,” Ashok Pamidi, CEO, NASSCOM Foundation, said.

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“This training educates people throughout India to be mindful of the messages they receive and to verify the facts before forwarding,” he added. Pixabay

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“I would like to urge all the connected citizens who want to join this fight against the spread of fake information, to come and help volunteer towards the cause,” Pamidi added.

Aspiring volunteers can register at www.mykartavya.nasscomfoundation.org

NASSCOM Foundation is the social arm of the industry body, National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM). (IANS)