India’s predilection for sons causes rampant misogyny and the unlawful termination of female foetuses. However, things are changing as more women achieve success in business and athletics and as police raid clinics that conduct abortions based on gender.
Millions of female embryos have been illegally aborted in India due to the preference for sons, who are considered as the family’s breadwinners and perform funeral rites for their deceased parents. This is especially true in northern states like Haryana. However, the most recent government statistics and firsthand accounts from women and health professionals indicate that the trend is shifting.
This is the outcome of education, the accomplishments of well-known Indian women in sport and business, and the crackdown on clinics that perform illegal abortions on minors. The National Family Health Survey (NFHS) of 2019–21 revealed for the first time that there are more women than males—exactly 1020 women for every 1000 men. 991 females were present in the final NFHS of 2015–16 for every 1000 males. At the 2011 census, India’s sex ratio for children reached its lowest point, with 914 girls aged 0 to 6 for every 1,000 boys. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that there are approximately 105 boys for every 100 girls at birth.
Sexist views, according to women and influential people, are starting to shift. In order to demand a dowry when their daughters get married, parents are starting to realise that daughters can make a financial contribution as opposed to being a burden. Abortions that are gender-selective are not officially documented. However, the prenatal sex selection of Indian girls is thought to have killed nearly 590,000 of them annually between 2015 and 2020, according to UNFPA, the United Nations organisation for sexual and reproductive health.
According to World Bank data, India has one of the lowest rates of female employment in the world, with only 20% of women employed. According to a McKinsey estimate, India’s GDP might increase by $770 billion by 2025 if there were more women in the workforce. This daughter aversion begins to wane, according to Mishra, who cites the success of wrestlers Vinesh Phogat and Sakshi Malik as evidence. At the recent Commonwealth Games, both women took home gold medals. The Haryana government gave each of the women 15 million rupees as compensation (about 190,000 euros).