//Sex ratio: DU study with new answers to old questions

Sex ratio: DU study with new answers to old questions

Aiman Mustafa

New Delhi, February 26: A survey in two rural and semi-rural areas in the Capital by the Women’s’ Studies and Development Centre (WSDC) of Delhi University has challenged some perceptions of women’s issues in areas with adverse sex ratios.

The preliminary results of the survey, which was presented at the recently held national workshop on ‘‘Attitudinal Difference Towards the Girl Child in India’’, showed almost 80 percent of the respondents aged between 13 to 18 years, felt the birth of a girl child was welcome. And, 77 per cent felt there wasn’t any appreciable difference between the rearing of boys and that of girls.

However, on the prevailing ‘‘stereotypes’’, almost 95 per cent said excellence in household work was still a prerequisite for their families. A large number also reported the persistence of notions like the sex of the unborn child being dependent upon destiny.

‘‘One of the aims of this survey was to find out the differential between the urban and semi-rural settings vis-a-vis attitudes towards the girl child,’’ said Dr Nilima Srivastava, who coordinated the workshop.

Dr Malashri Lal, Head, WSDC, says: ‘‘It’s disturbing that the number of girls is decreasing despite an increase in the overall sex ratio.’’

The survey was carried out on agricultural and office workers, comprising a sample of 1,200 respondents of individual units of three family members each (father, mother and child) in the North-east and South-west districts.

The areas covered from the North-east district, which has the highest sex ratio of the Capital, included Yamuna Vihar, Welcome Colony, Bhajanpura, Gamri extension, Tukhmirpur, Sabhapur, Mandoli and Wazirabad. Areas from the South-west district included RK Puram, Vasant Kunj, Palam, Satya Niketan, Dhanasa village, Nalothi, Ranaula and Nangloi.