Consultations for National Plan of Action to Improve CSR (Child Sex Ratio)

Press Information Bureau, jAN 8, 2013
Smt. Krishna Tirath, Minister for Women and Child Development held
consultations today to formulate a National Plan of Action to Improve the
Child Sex Ratio. She chaired a meeting of representatives of various
ministries such as HRD, Social Justice and Empowerment, Water and
Sanitation, Health and Family Welfare, Panchayat and Rural Development,
Planning Commission, and with members of civil society organizations,
advocates, radiologists, gynaecologists and doctors. Representatives from
UNFPA, UNICEF, and UNDP also participated in the consultations held here

At the outset, the Minister said that declining Child Sex Ratio (CSR), in
its present nature and scale, is a cause of urgency and concern. She stated
that child sex ratio is a powerful indicator of the social response and
attitude towards the girl child. The Minister stated that while certain
States have consistently shown low number of women population like Punjab,
Haryana and Delhi, Jammu & Kashmir, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and
Maharashtra. There are as many as 119 districts with CSR lower than the
already low average on 914. The districts with lowest CSR are mainly
located in Northern and Western States of the country. What is even more
alarming, Smt. Tirath pointed out was that the practice of prenatal sex
selection spreads, the sex ratio at birth in urban areas remains far worse
898 for than for rural areas where it was 907 in 2008-10.

The Minister stated that a low sex ratio for a nation has adverse
implications not only for gender equality but also for social violence,
human development and democracy. The situation becomes more complicated
because one it is not merely related to poverty and also because it leads
to adverse consequences, she elaborated. Smt. Tirath stated that merely
State-led intervention alone cannot tackle a problem that is multi
dimensional in nature- it is social, economic and cultural, and it is only
through a joint effort of the civil society and the government that this
problem can be resolved. While outlining the various initiatives taken up
by the Ministry for Women and Child Development to arrest this trend in
declining CSR, she said that a convergence of schemes across sectors and
Ministries is the need of the hour. The consultations with various
stakeholders is a step in the direction of formulating a comprehensive and
holistic national plan of action to tackle this multi-sectoral issue, she
stated. Plans at the central, state and district levels needed to be
framed, she added.

The various participants at the consultation highlighted the gravity of the
situation. They were of the view that there exists a grave danger of gender
imbalance due to this. The spread of declining CSR in the rural areas is
mainly due to easy availability of cheap sex determination machines in
these areas and poor implementation of the PCPNDT Act. It was also pointed
out that the urban areas have shown a growing incidence of declining CSR.
Speakers were of the view that there is a need for better access of the
available schemes, laws and entitlements for women in order to create a
sense of gender equality. Equal remuneration for women at workplace and
equal economic opportunities was also highlighted by some. Participants
stressed on balance and equalization of schemes for immunisation,
education, primary school enrolment, nutrition, skill acquisition between
men and women. Strengthening the monitoring of laws to prevent
sex-selection abortion, stringent exemplary punishment to the culprits
would go a long way to arrest the menace, it was discussed.

Participants brought insight from the projects that they have been
spearheading at various levels both within and outside the government. Some
favoured a strong involvement of the community in taking care of the
decline. Some also pointed that the continuous decline in CSR was a
‘governance’ issue as many of the schemes did not reach the women. Need for
better facilities such as water at doorsteps, toilets near the homes would
go a long way in gender justice and hence remove the perception of drudgery
associated with ‘womanhood’. Need was also expressed for better governance
structures and institutions at the local level and better coordination
between schemes such as Anganwadi, NRHM, local self governing bodies and
self help groups to prevent duplication and pooling of available skills and
resources, both in the urban and rural areas. Some participants suggested
that a framework of gender rights needs to be established which would
provide the overall framework for this issue.



3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Consultations for National Plan of Action to Improve CSR (Child Sex Ratio) « cognitionaman
  2. Dr.K.K.Dixit
    Jan 09, 2013 @ 17:26:49

    Only strict and timely implementation of PC PNDT ACT will change the scenario, But very unfortunately govt. is not taking it very serious .


  3. Trackback: #Rajasthan -Headless court: No judge to hear PCPNDT cases « Forum against Sex Selection (FASS)

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