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Indian Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology Research

Gender Preferences, Inequalities and Female Infanticide in Rural Area of Northern India

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Author Details: Ravinder Pal Singh, Megha Pravin Khobragade, Anil Kumar, Achhelal Ramashankar Pasi

Volume : 2

Issue : 3

Online ISSN : 2394-2754

Print ISSN : 2394-2746

Article First Page : 127

Article End Page : 131


 Background: decreasing sex ratio is an issue of major concern in India and has long-term social and demographic consequences. A community based cross-sectional study was conducted to explore the reasons and perceptions of people regarding decreasing sex ratio and gender inequalities.

Objectives: to assess the knowledge, attitude and practices regarding gender preference, gender inequality and female infanticide.
Material and Methods: study was conducted in 30 villages of Kathua district of Jammu & Kashmir. Study participants were eligible couples of the selected villages. Villages and study participants were selected by systematic random sampling. Data on knowledge, attitude and practice was collected using a standard questionnaire.
Results: out of 300 couples 30% were illiterate. Overall 70% & 66% of the couples were aware of the decreasing sex ratio & its social consequences respectively. Though 75% of the respondents knew that sex determination is a crime, 17% reported that they would go for prenatal determination of sex and 11% of women were in favor of doing female feticide. A total of 79% couples reported preference for son. Antenatal USG was conducted in 60% of pregnancies, 61% of women reported to have experienced family pressure for son and 31% sought divine intervention to have son.
Conclusion: over all study population had good knowledge of declining sex ratio, its social consequences and illegality of prenatal sex determination including female infanticide. Prenatal sex determination and female feticide was not preferred by majority of the study population. Most of the couples had perceived preference for son and majority had faced family pressure for the same.
Recommendations: strengthening the ongoing IEC and BCC activities to promote gender equalities in the rural part of northern India. Implementation of policies & programs for overall development of girls.

 sex determination, gender preference, gender inequalities, female infanticide, Jammu & Kashmir