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IPS Examines Gender Discrimination, Disparity In Child Mortality In India

Inter Press Service examines gender discrimination and mortality in India, writing, “Global infant and child mortality rates have been on the decline in recent years, with a large portion of the world seeing young girls experiencing higher rates of survival than young boys; but India remains the exception to this positive trend.” A new report, “‘Sex Differentials in Childhood Mortality,’ a project of the U.N.’s Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA), reveals that a girl aged between one and five years is 75 percent more likely to die than a boy in India, marking the world’s most extreme gender disparity in child mortality,” according to the news service.

“‘According to the 2011 Census and other national statistics, 700,000 girl children are missing at birth (due to termination of pregnancy once a fetus’ sex is confirmed) and experts say this may reach the one million mark in this decade if serious effort is not made to reverse or halt it,’ Akhila Sivadas, executive director of the New Delhi-based Centre for Advocacy and Research (CAR) told IPS,” the news service writes. Sivadas “believes that the dismantling of India’s public distribution system (PDS), through which essential food items were made available to poorer families at subsidized rates, is an important factor in the crisis, since parents who cannot feed their children often grow desperate,” the news service adds (3/1).

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