The Lesser Child: A Study of the Interlinkages between the Child Sex Ratios and Discrimination Against the Girl Child in Punjab

Pritam Singh, Nadia Singh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This paper seeks to investigate whether improvement in sex ratios translate into
better health and nutritional outcomes for the girl child through an in depth study of these indictors in the region of Punjab. In recent years, both the child and overall sex ratios have shown improvement in the state. We analyze whether
this improvement has narrowed gender discrimination against the girl child in
Punjab, through an empirical investigation of the indicators of childcare and well-being, using National Family Health Survey data. We also evaluate the cash transfer schemes being implemented for the welfare of the girl child in Punjab. Our analysis shows that in most dimensions of childcare there continues to be a bias against the girl child, with little improvement over time. For cash transfer schemes our analysis reveals that these are unimaginative, arbitrary and rigid. Eligible households have to comply with many regulations to benefit. Thus, in spite of progressive intentions behind these schemes and even some marginal positive outcomes, very few households have benefited. We recommend, therefore, that in spite of marginal benefits of transitory schemes such as cash transfers, what is needed from a medium-term and long-term perspective is a mix of gender-aware cultural initiatives, educational incentives and institutional policy programs that can grapple with the complexity of economic, social and cultural factors that impinge upon the well-being of the girl child in Punjab.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)287-318
JournalJournal of Punjab Studies
Volume22
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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