In America while gender reveal parties climb in popularity, India shares a different perspective. ABC News reports, because of the strong preference for boys, 63 million women are statistically “missing” from the population, and 21 million girls are left unwanted by their families, according to government officials.
On Monday (1.29), the government’s annual economic survey was released and showed the skewed ratio of men to women is primarily due to sex-selective abortions, and better medical and nutritional care for boys. Scientists also report that statistically the country is missing 63 million women due to the abortions as well as “families where a son is born are more likely to stop having children than families where a girl is born.”
This results in Indian women, from all socioeconomic backgrounds, facing immense pressure to have a boy. For many Indian parents the birth of a son is a cause for celebration and pride; while the birth of a girl means mourning as the parents will have to face the burden of paying a marriage dowry.
According to the report, more than 21 million girls are not wanted by their own families. This results in the girls being less educated than boys, having poorer nutrition, and receiving less medical attention.
While this seems like an antiquated way of thinking, chief economic advisor, Arvind Subramanian said in the report that India must “confront the societal preference for boys” before any progress is made.