TODAY -

Manipur ranks lowest in child sex ratio with 930 in NE region
- December 13 2020 : per 2011 census -

Liklai Leima *

 Manipur ranks lowest in child sex ratio with 930 in NE region



TSE News - December 14th 2020 edition

With decreasing child sex ratio (0 to 6 years), Manipur ranks the lowest among the NE States with a child sex ratio of 930 as per the 2011 census. Child sex ratio is the number of females per thousand males in the age group 0-6 years.

As per 2001 census, the child sex ratio in Manipur was 957 and it declined to 930 in the 2011 census. According to a report from Health Management Information System of the Family Welfare Dept, in 2015 there were 938 girl child births for every 1000 male births. It declined to 935 in 2016, 914 in 2017 and 924 in 2018 .

While Manipur ranks 11 among the States in the India in child sex ratio as per 2011 census, it ranks the lowest in the NE region.

Arunachal Pradesh ranks first with a child sex ratio of 972, Meghalaya and Mizoram rank second with 970, Assam-962, Tripura and Sikkim-957, Nagaland-943 and Manipur-930.Significantly, the child sex ratio in the State is lower in rural areas than in urban areas.

The urban child sex ratio as per 2011 census is 945 against 929 in rural areas. The decreasing child sex ratio has cast shadows on the effectiveness of the PC & PNDT (Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques) Act 1994 which prohibits sex selection.

In Manipur, there are around 166 diagnostic centres registered under PC & PNDT Act, 1994 . However, there is doubt if the Act is being implemented properly. Many, especially in rural areas are still not yet properly informed about the ill practice and effect of sex selection and female foeticide.

Even though female foeticide and female infanticide are not reported or common in Manipur, many especially couples and families want or prefer male child. Many of the women who couldn't give birth to a male child face domestic violence.

This may be one of the reasons for early abortion and female foeticide leading to the declining child sex ratio, the experts said. Female foeticide is the process of finding out the sex of the foetus and undergoing abortion if it is a girl.

They also noted that one other reason for the decline in the child sex ratio must also be the case where the couple stop trying for children after having a male child. Many couples who want small family are "satisfied" when they have a male child as their first. They usually feel "complete and stop trying for another child".

Literate and informed couples make better decisions regarding family planning and they are more likely to accept girl children. However, in rural areas where there is a low literacy rate, people are not well informed and many prefer male children over girl child. People/family want male child as they think only the male child can inherit the family legacy and lineage.

In case, a female child is born first, they (couple) with family pressure try for a male child again. When again a female child is born, the woman (mother) faces domestic abuses. In extreme cases, sometimes the couple or husband or family commit female foeticide if they find that the gender of the foetus is a girl, they said.

The experts emphasised that the PC & PNDT Act, 1994 should be strictly enforced and all diagnostic centres should be monitored strictly to check female foeticide. There is serious suspicion that some of the diagnostic centres in collusion with doctors are determining sex of child during pregnancy on the demand of the couple and family members.

Public in general and the ASHA workers, who work closely with the healthcare system/authorities and pregnant women should be properly informed about child sex ratio, female foeticide and the PC & PNDT Act, 1994 . Doctors and staff of diagnostics centres and all concerned should be trained properly and advised not to determine sex of child before birth and uphold the PC & PNDT Act, they said.

Notably, PC & PNDT Act Nodal Officer, Dr B Ibomcha Sharma said no one has been punished under the Act in Manipur till today. Women Action for Development secretary Sobita Mangsatabam said even though Manipuri women are a symbol of bravery and courage, they are constantly facing violence in one form or the other.

Nupi Lan is observed every year on December 12 commemorating the bravery and sacrifices of the women of Manipur in 1939.The decreasing child sex-ratio coupled with the increasing crime against women is however telling a different story.

People should study the reasons for the decline in the child sex ratio and come out of this patriarchy culture to secure a safe future, she said.


* Liklai Leima wrote this news which was published at The Sangai Express on December 14th 2020
This article was reported under Khelen Thokchom Media Fellowship
This was posted on December 15th 2020

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