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Women in India : The Problem of Missing Girl Child
By Nishant Anand

First Published : 2016
ISBN : 9788177084191
Pages : 226
Binding : Hardbound
Size : 5 x 9
Price : US$ 46

Advancement and empowerment of women has been a leading objective of state policy in India ever since the attainment of Independence in 1947. The principle of gender equality is enshrined in the Indian Constitution in its Preamble, Fundamental Rights, Fundamental Duties and Directive Principles of State Policy. The Constitution not only grants equality to women, but also empowers the state to adopt measures of positive discrimination in favour of women.

Gender equality is a constituent of development as well as an instrument of development. No country can be deemed developed if half of its population is severely disadvantaged in terms of basic needs, livelihood options, access to knowledge and political voice. A natural corollary of ensuring gender equality is the elimination of gender discrimination.

The problem of missing girl child pertains to unborn girl children in their mothers’ wombs, who are deliberately disposed of (in contravention of the existing laws) before birth only because they are female. Their disposal before birth is extreme instance of gender discrimination, forbidden both by domestic and international laws and conventions. The burgeoning size of this missing group is now receiving attention as a factor crucial to the health of the social fabric and to the well-being of communities. 2011 Census data shows that the sex ratio for children below 6 years (i.e. number of girls for every 1,000 boys) dropped from 927 in 2001 to a dismal 914 in 2011. This decline is unabated since 1961 Census.

This book provides deep insights into the problem of female foeticide in India. It explains and examines the reasons for its rapid growth, laws to safeguard the rights of women and the landmark judgments of courts in this context. Role of civil society and media has also been highlighted in improving the status of Indian women.

1. Women in Indian Society
1.1 Role of Women in the Society
1.2 Need for Gender Equality
1.3 Women in Modern India
1.4 National Population Policy (NPP), 2000
1.5 National Policy for Empowerment of Women, 2001
1.6 The Missing Girl Child
2. Vulnerable Groups of Women
2.1 Women with Health Problems
2.2 Disaster-affected Women
2.3 Migrant Women
2.4 Women in Border Trade Areas
2.5 Women Left Behind due to Suicide by Farmer Husbands
2.6 Other Vulnerable Groups of Women
3. Violence against Women
3.1 Human Rights in India
3.2 Forms of Violence against Women
3.3 Sexual Harassment of Women
3.4 Rape and Sexual abuse
3.5 Trafficking in Women
3.6 Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace
4. Declining Child Sex Ratio in India
4.1 India’s Demographic Characteristics
4.2 Status of Women in Indian Society
4.3 Gender Bias System
4.4 Women and Social Structure
4.5 Female Foeticide Defined
4.6 Incidence and Magnitude of Female Foeticide
4.7 Female Foeticide and Infanticide
4.8 Factors Responsible for Female Foeticide
5. Protection of the Girl Child
5.1 Right to Life of Girl Child’s
5.2 Childhood Malnutrition
5.3 Education and Schooling
5.4 Sexual Abuse and Trafficking
5.5 Measures to Protect the Girl Child
5.6 United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC)
6. Legislative Efforts to Combat Female Foeticide
6.1 Policy Framework
6.2 Right Per Se of the Foetus
6.3 Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971
6.4 Right to Abort vs. Right of an Unborn
6.5 Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Regulation and Prevention of Misuse) Act, 1994
6.6 Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Regulation and Prevention of Misuse) Amendment Act, 2002
6.7 Indian Penal Code, 1860
7. Judicial Activism to Eradicate Female Foeticide
7.1 Landmark Judgements
7.2 Shortcomings and Loopholes in the Law
7.3 National Legal Research Desk (NLRD)
8. Role of Civil Society and Media in Preventing Female Foeticide
8.1 Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW)
8.2 Civil Society including NGOs
8.3 Role of Press and Media
9. Strategy to Checkmate Female Foeticide
9.1 Framework of Intervention
9.2 Male versus Female Child
9.3 Intervention Strategy
9.4 Identification of Issue
9.5 Policy Framework to Combat Female Foeticide
9.6 Legal Strategies
9.7 Initiatives by Central and State Governments
10. Women and Health
10.1 Health Needs of Women
10.3 Reproductive Health
10.4 Changing Pattern of Lifestyle Illness
10.5 Women and Ageing
10.6 Specific Micronutrient Deficiencies in India
10.7 National Health Policy, 2002
10.8 Sarva Swasthya Abhiyan (SSA)
10.9 National Rural Health Mission (NRHM)
10.10 Janani Suraksha Yojana (JSY)
10.11 Family Planning and Welfare
10.12 Nutrition Support
11. Women and Education
11.1 Education for All
11.2 Sexual Harassment, Violence and Women’s Education
11.3 Elementary Education
11.4 Adult Education
12. Conclusions and Suggestions


Nishant Anand is a practicing advocate at the Supreme Court of India and the High Court of Delhi. He graduated from Vivekananda Institute of Professional Studies (Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University), Delhi. His key areas of practice include service laws, labor and industrial laws and matrimonial laws. He is a member of the Bar Association of India; Supreme Court Bar Association and Delhi High Court Bar Association. 

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