Fears of those working to uphold women's rights confirmed, says AIDWA

The All India Democratic Women's Association (AIDWA) on Friday expressed deep concern at the Census 2011 revelation that the child sex ratio had dropped from 927 to 914 girls per thousand boys, confirming the worst apprehensions of those working to uphold women's rights.

An AIDWA statement said the statistics once again raised serious questions about the direction of development which was leading to “growth” without social justice. The continuing devaluation of women in the economic and social sphere, the lack of property rights, and the increasing scourge of dowry were visibly and tragically strengthening son preference trends, reflected in the current census figures, the statement said.

The “total failure” of the Central government and official agencies to take the necessary steps to reverse the trends was reprehensible, it said. The Central Supervisory Board set up to oversee the implementation of the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act had not held a single meeting over the past three years.

“Corruption and the clout wielded by corrupt members of the medical profession who, unfortunately, are often supported by their Associations have rendered the Act toothless,” the statement said. The association said that while social norms and practices needed to be drastically altered and social reform movements undertaken to do this, it was the responsibility of the state to ensure the equal economic, and social rights of all women, girls and children, along with a violence-free existence for them.

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