Modi Launches Campaign to Address India’s Dwindling Number of Girls

Swearing-in ceremony of NDA governmentAfter the United Nations has addressed it as a National Emergency, Prime Minister Modi addressed the nation about India’s shrinking female population. The ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’ or Save the Daughter, Teach the Daughter campaign will be targeting the problems such gender equality, pre-birth gender section, and improving girls’ school attendance (Times of India).   Despite being banned, selective abortion is still a growing problem (Reuters). One of the causes of this problem is India’s patriarchal society, where daughters are seen as more of a financial liability, instead of equals to their male siblings (Times of India).   Such ideologies have lead to crimes against women like rape, trafficking, and selective abortion. Acts such as these have had a significant effect on the population they have decreased the child sex ratio from 964 in 1971 to 918 in 2011 (ABC). With this issue, Modi hopes to make the child sex ratio equal as he expresses that “we don’t have a right to kill our daughters” (ABC).   He plans to improve the situation by focusing on 100 gender-biased districts where the child sex ratio is low. He also plans to enforce the criminalization of pre-birth gender selection, especially in major cities where it is common, like Delhi and as well as to improve gender equality through access to education (Reuters).

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By: Sayyada Fazal, The India Center Fellow