The Son Meta Preference : 21 Million Unwanted Daughters in India - Seeker's Thoughts

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Friday, 2 February 2018

The Son Meta Preference : 21 Million Unwanted Daughters in India

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Introduction- The Economic Survey of India published in the last week of January 2018 shocked the nation with the number of Unwanted Girl Child. The survey has highlighted the Son Meta Preference. The real picture of society and the attitude towards girl child is first time documented in such government document. 
The Son Meta Preference- The term son meta preference is used for 'the want' or 'the attitude' parents have. In this scenario parents keep on giving birth to the children until the son is born. The number  of girl born in such scenario is recorded in survey remains 21 millions. 
There are various consequences girl child faces when born unwanted- The corollary is that the girls receive fewer resources because their parents wanted a son leading to girls suffering disproportionately from disease, neglect, or inadequate nutrition. As an indirect impact of such harshness of childhood, the girl are often do not develop in healthier and happier adult. Their level of confidence remain low, and they participate less in workplace. 
Reasons for the desirability of Son-
 A patriarchal mindset where parents do not stop having children after having a daughter in Indian society. 
Comparing data from 1991 and 2011, the study also found that even as incomes rose across different states in India, the sex ratio declined. In northern Punjab and Haryana states, there are 1,200 boys under the age of seven for every 1,000 girls, though they are among the richest states.
Deeply-ingrained preference for boys has led to a massive gender gap in India.
The problem of female infanticide does not seem confined to smaller villages, contrary to common perception but relatively large urban areas also have this problem. The schemes undertaken by the governments have not had very significant impact for women.
The girl is considered as a social liability due to ill practices of dowry where society is the victim of its faults.
A way Ahead-
 Ensuring property rights for women
Ending gender stereotyping in Indian popular culture can also help.
Giving push to women for economic empowerment so that social empowerment would follow. Quality education should be provided with inclusive schemes like Dhanalaxmi, Save daughter educate daughter etc implemented effectively.