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DAUGHTER DEFICIT:
SEX SELECTION IN
TAMIL NADU
Sharada Srinivasan

Rs 595 Hb 2012
81-88965-68-5
(All rights available)
This book is about girls who are denied the right to live or to be born in India, and it asks why and how such a situation has come about. Daughter elimination in the form of sex selection, female infanticide, and neglect is not an aberration or an idiosyncrasy—it accounts for a large proportion of missing girls in India, measured by the sex ratio imbalance in the 0-6 age group. The author examines this disturbing fact from the context of women's lives to unravel the causes of daughter elimination, and the mechanisms which create and sustain an environment in which such elimination is imaginable.

Using quantitative and ethnographic material, she explains how this practice unfolds in a region which has demonstrated relatively high human development and status of women. From the economic and socio-cultural, fuelling daughter aversion vis--vis son preference, we see the ways in which daughter elimination is institutionalised and reproduced. Reflecting on the way ahead, the book concludes that even as public policies can and should play a decisive role in reversing the immediate outcomes in favour of daughters, an environment favourable to daughters will need fundamental changes in social norms, attitudes and policies of governments and NGOs.

  SHARADA SRINIVASAN
is Assistant Professor in International Development at York University, Toronto. Her research is focussed on gender-based discrimination and violence including young people's experiences of them. Her current work examines the relative value of daughters and sons among the Indian diaspora in Canada, as well as the social transformation underway in India in context of daughter deficit.
 
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