Laadli - A girl child campaign

What is the impact of sex selection?

Myths and Misconceptions about sex selection

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What is the impact of sex selection?

Laadli2The adverse child sex ratio can severely impact the delicate equilibrium of nature and destroy our moral and social fabric. Contrary to what many believe, lesser number of girls in a society will not enhance their status. Instead, this could lead to increased violence against women, rape, abduction, trafficking and onset of practices such as polyandry. In certain parts of the country, women are being 'bought' as brides too.

What about the law?

The Pre-conception and Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act (PCPNDT Act) 2003 provides for the prohibition of sex selection, before or after conception. Its purpose is to prevent misuse of technologies such as ultrasound that enable determination of the sex of a child before it is born. It is illegal to test the sex of the foetus for the purpose of eliminating the female. The law provides for imprisonment, which may extend to three years and fine up to Rs. 10,000 for the first conviction. However, there have been no convictions under this act so far. Though the law has been in place for 15 years, its implementation has been inadequate.

The Root Cause

Sex selection is not only about technology. At the heart of the matter is the low status of women in society and the deep-rooted prejudices they face right through their life. To get the complete picture, the issue also needs to be seen in the context of a patriarchal social framework and a value system based on 'son preference' - such as the son being responsible for the carrying forward the family name, support in old-age and for performing the last rites. Further, the practice of dowry and the tag of 'paraya dhan' translate into daughters being considered an economic liability. Consequently, what we see is discrimination and neglect of the girl child, which could be in terms of inadequate nutrition, denial or limited access to education and health, child labour and domestic violence. At its worst, it translates into one of the most repugnant forms of violence against women: sex selection.


Sex Selection or what is commonly understood as determing the sex of unborn child or foetus and eliminating it if found to be a female.

The use of the technology to determine the sex of the foetus and easy access to it since the early eighties has contributed to the rapid decline in the child sex ratio.

SOURCE: Creative Excellence

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