In India, there is a marked preference for a male child (editorial page, Aug.20). Like it or not, the main reason is the son being there to oversee everything when his parents age. In contrast are the ugly incidents that haunt women — honour killings, dowry deaths and harassment.

There must be an awakening and a realisation among people that women are equally capable of performing tasks entrusted to them and that they must be given a chance to prove themselves. Misogynism can never be allowed to rear its ugly head.

A. Michael Dhanaraj, Coimbatore

The writers have shown that notwithstanding an increase in the decadal sex ratio, from 932.91 per 1,000 males in 2001 to 940.27 in 2011, the number of missing women is continuously increasing in every aspect of demographic dividend. Such data must usher in wide room for reforms on both the social and political fronts. The government launched the National Mission for Empowerment of Women on International Women’s Day in 2010 to strengthen and promote the all-round development of women. The notion of “strengthening women” also incorporates the protection of women from disappearing from social, economic and political interfaces. This notion should be discussed among all stakeholders of our society.

Piyush Tripathi, Allahabad

The empowerment of women alone will not eradicate the preference of boys over girls. It will disappear only when the empowerment of women leads them to the next stage of taking up all responsibilities that boys are expected to do in a family. Gender equality will be achieved only when duties and rights are equal for girls and boys. Only then will girls be considered to be an asset, not a liability. Till then, female foeticide and infanticide and a higher mortality of girl children due to neglect will continue, resulting in an adverse sex ratio.

Rameeza A. Rasheed, Chennai

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