#India- (Un)wanted women #Vaw


Ashok Kumar, The Hindu

Sex Selection  is a major factor resulting in trafficking of women from across the country to Haryana for forced marriages and the situation has only been worsened by widespread unemployment and the low status accorded to women in the State, says the first-ever UN commissioned report on human trafficking in Haryana.

Most of the women brought to Haryana for forced marriages are from Assam and West Bengal and the districts of Karnal, Mewat, Rewari, Kurukshetra, Jind, Yamuna Nagar and Hisar in Haryana are the major destinations for these trafficked women, says the report titled ‘Current Status of Victim Service Providers and Criminal Justice Actors in India on Anti-Human Trafficking’, adding that the process of bridal migration was gaining momentum in the State and the sale and trafficking aspects of it needed immediate attention. In Mewat, there are many women who are being brought from States like Assam, West Bengal, Jharkhand, Bihar and Andhra Pradesh and are forced to get married against their will. These girls are popularly known as “Paro”.

According to a 2004 report by non-government organisation Shakti Vahini, 100s of young girls and women are lured and sold into involuntary marriages in North India, says the report on human trafficking. They are bartered at prices that vary depending on their age, beauty and virginity and exploited under conditions that amount to a modern form of slavery. Although trafficking of women and girls has become a lucrative and expanding trade in these regions, it routinely escapes effective administrative and social sanctions and the general response is to deny the existence of any such problem.

A large number of women are also trafficked to Haryana from Jharkhand, Bihar, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh for domestic work and are forced to work under bonded labour like conditions, according to the report. Gurgaon and Faridabad are the major destinations for the girls and women trafficked to Haryana for domestic work and a large number of them even become victims of sexual exploitation, says the report.The trafficked domestic helps, mostly minor girls, are supplied in Haryana by the placement agencies operating in Delhi and once these children land up in their employer’s house they end up in slavery. In many cases, these children become the victims of sexual exploitation at the hands of either the placement agency owner or the employer themselves. The placement agencies illegally run their business and have good links in the source areas. The agency owners bring girls from the source states with the help of their organised network and employ them as bonded labour.

Most of the victims are trafficked through railway routes and they are transited via Delhi. These women and girls are also sent to the border areas of Rajasthan from Haryana.

According to the report, the Haryana Government has initiated various schemes for the care and protection of trafficked victims and children. However, there is an absence of monitoring mechanism and minimum standards of victim care and protection and it was highlighted when the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights team detected cases of selling of infants and sexual exploitation of girls at a State-supported “Swadhar” Home in Rohtak recently.

Sounding the warning bells, the report says it may take Haryana more than 50 years to reach its natural sex ratio even if the Government ensures that not a single sex determination takes place in the State. The demand for marriageable age girls will be much more intense in the coming years and the demand met by inter-State marriages. The challenge before the State of Haryana as well as regions of Western Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Rajasthan is to ensure that the bride demand is not catered to through human trafficking. The governments in these regions should ensure legislations which protect the rights of women and children, says the report.

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Can’t bachao beti with just monetary sop, say experts


 

Child sex ratio in India

Child sex ratio in India (Photo credit: On Being)

 

 

Sravani Sarkar, Hindustan Times
Bhopal, September 26, 2012

 

 

 

 

The latest of the ‘save girl child’ steps of the state government- Rs. 500 monthly pension to parents having only daughters- has largely received a thumbs down from experts on gender issues and activists fighting against SEX SELECTION .   They feel that offering monetary incentive cannot be an effective solution for curbing the deeply ingrained social bias that leads to sex selection aand consequently a skewed sex ratio. It is even being looked upon as “cheap stunt” with no long-term positive impact. Experts and activists HT spoke with feel that education, stricter implementation of the laws preventing sex selection and non-cash incentivesfor people promoting gender parity could be better solutions towards saving the girl child.Lucknow-based gender issues expert and co-convener of the National Alliance of Peoples’ Movements (NAPM) Arundhati Dhuru said that she looked upon the step as positive in the sense that it shows that the state government realises the very serious crisis that the country is facing with respect to dwindling sex ratio. “However cash incentive is certainly not the best way to show this recognition,” Dhuru said while talking to HT over telephone. She added that cash transfers are always associated with rampant corruption and possibility of using the money for wrong things. So the incentive should be in kind, by the way of low-cost housing, special health and nutrition schemes, livelihood generation and other sustainable programmes.

Also, the fact that the scheme has been announced only for the people of economically weaker sections reveals a faulty analysis. “The problem of sex selection  increases as one moves up the social and economic ladder and the government seems to have missed this point altogether,” Dhuru said.

Social activist Asha Mishra of the NGO Samta rejected the step as a “political stunt coming at a time when assembly elections are just a year away.” Mishra alleged that despite the existing monetary incentive-based schemes like Ladli Laxmi, the child sex ratio in MP continues to dwindle. “The emphasis of the government should be towards socio-economic uplift of the people that would by itself solve many issues including sex selection . Such temporary measures are not at all effective,” she said, adding that it would only promote corruption and greed among people.

Such incentives could never help in changing social attitude towards women, which is the basic cause leading to female foeticide, feels associate professor of Sociology with National Law Institute University (NLIU) Tapan Mohanty. “If money could solve all the problems, why young professionals would avoid staying with parents who are pensioners?” Mohanty asked in a bid to explain that such negative social phenomena were independent of economic aspect.

He questioned the logic behind offering the sop to people of above 60 years of age, while it is the young couple which takes the decision on sex selection. He added that a better idea would be to offer pension to single women after a certain age.

Chairperson of the MP State Women’s Commission, Upma Rai, defended the scheme saying that it could be considered as one among many steps that are required to prevent girl children from getting killed in the womb or just after being born. She said that monetary incentive might not change social attitude towards women, but it certainly was an assurance for people who thought having daughters was an economic burden.

State government spokesman Narottam Mishra, when contacted by HT, said: “This is just one of the basic and initial measures to ensure that girl children are saved. More schemes and steps would be initiated and better suggestions would be most welcome.”

STATS SHOCK

The annual health survey (AHS) of 2011 revealed 904 girls are born for every 1,000 boys in MP. In urban areas, the sex ratio at birth is a shocking 875.

Child sex ratio (0-6 years) as per census of 2011 stood at 912.

Child sex ratio in urban MP stands at 895 compared to 917 in rural areas, indicating that sex selection/female foeticide might be more rampant in urban areas.

 

Maharahstra leads in conviction of Doctors for Sex Selection


 

, TNN | May 16, 2012,

NEW DELHI: Actor Aamir Khan, whose first episode of tele-show Satyamev Jayate focused on sex selection, will be happy to hear this.

In 2011, 21 clinics and 22 doctors were convicted under the Pre-Conception and Prenatal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act, 1994, for carrying out sex selection of an unborn child.

Census, 2011, showed girl child is still a curse and unwanted. And, the girl child population has fallen to an all-time low since Independence. The sex ratio for 2011 stands at 914 girls down from 927 girls for 1,000 boys in 2001.

Maharashtra led the way in 2011, with the highest number of convicted cases against doctors at 15, followed by Haryana (7) and Madhya Pradesh (2).

Majority of the punishments included three years of rigorous imprisonment and a fine anywhere between Rs 1,000 and Rs 1.3 lakh.

Dr Ambadas Kadam from Maharashtra was convicted on November 14, 2011, with a three-year jail term and had to cough up the highest compensation of Rs 1.3 lakh.

All the convictions in Haryana resulted in a three-year jail term, and also had to pay fines between Rs 1,000 and Rs 10,000.

The two convictions in MP resulted in imprisonment of one month and a fine of Rs 1,000. Maharashtra, however, made an example of such cases. The minimum jail term in all the convictions in the state was two years. Fines charged were Rs 70,000, Rs 60,000, Rs 52,000 and Rs 38,000 in majority of the cases.

According to Union health ministry’s figures, only around 6% of cases filed against doctors involved in sex selection practices in the 17 states with the most skewed sex ratio had ended up in convictions till March, 2011.

Altogether 805 cases had been filed in court against doctors till March 31, 2011, ever since the revised PCPNDT Act came into force. Only 55 convictions were recorded during the same period.

The rest of the cases were either still going on or dropped for “poor investigation and insufficient evidence against the accused”.

Till March, 2011, convictions were highest in Haryana (23), followed by Punjab (22), Gujarat (4), Maharashtra (3), Delhi (2) and Chandigarh (1). The highest number of cases against doctors was filed in Rajasthan (161), but none has resulted in conviction till date.

Maharashtra filed 139 cases, Punjab (112), Gujarat (82), MP (70), Delhi (61), Uttar Pradesh and Haryana (54), Andhra Pradesh (19), Bihar (10), Uttarakhand (9), Chhattisgarh (5), Jharkhand (3) and Chandigarh (2).

During the same period, 168 ultrasound machines were sealed in Gujarat, followed by Haryana (133). Maharashtra sealed 82 machines, Rajasthan (76), Odisha (68), Delhi (48), Punjab (26), UP (37), Jharkhand (13) and Andhra Pradesh (12).

“Recent meetings impressed upon states on the importance of follow up of a court case, building a strong case for prosecution, putting in place the mechanism for legal assistance and engagement with state legal services authorities, besides training workshops for judiciary and public prosecutors,” an official said.

An official added, “India’s conviction rates are shockingly low. That’s because doctors, who carry out the search and seizure operations, aren’t good at filing legal cases and presenting a full-proof investigation, helping violators go scot-free.”

The 17 states were recently told by the ministry to identify and map their worst-affected districts, blocks and even localities.

Wanting son, father poisons two-day-old baby girl


10th April, Zee news
Bhopal: In another instance of desperation for a son, a father has been arrested in Madhya Pradesh‘s Gwalior town for killing his two-day-old daughter by feeding her nicotine, police said Tuesday.

Narendra Rana, 40, was arrested Monday from his residence at Murar in Gwalior, about 400 km from here, six months after he killed his daughter, an official said.

Rana’s wife Anita had delivered a girl child Oct 17 last year at a private hospital. The infant was found dead two days later.

The post-mortem report, handed to police only last month, revealed that the baby had died due to the consumption of nicotine.

According to Suryakant Awasthi, in-charge of Murar police station, Anita had said Rana was depressed with the birth of a baby girl. He had entered the ward the day their daughter was found dead. Rana confessed to his crime during interrogation.

The incident comes to light just a day after police highlighted the case of a three-month-old baby girl who was battered and even bitten by her father in Bangalore because he wanted a son.

IANS

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