INDIA: 40 Million Girls Are Missing

INDIA (South Asia)                                 

Population: 1.205 Billion

Male/Female Ratio:   1.08 males / female

Fertility Rate:  5.5 children born/woman (In 1970) vs 2.58 children born/woman (2010)

Life Expectancy:  67.14 years

Infant mortality:  46.07 deaths/1,000 live births

Major Religions:  Hinduism, Islam

– 40% of India’s population is below the age of 18 years.  This is the largest child population in the world. 

– Abortion has been legal since 1971 and there are about 11 million abortions performed per year.

– India is also the heartland of sex-selective abortion. About 12 million girls are born in a year. However 1 million of these babies die by the age of one. One third of these deaths take place soon after birth. 

– India is the only country in the world where the ratio of women to men has been declining over the years.  While in 1960 there were 976 girls born for every 1000 boys, in 2011, there are only 914 girls for every 1000 boys.  Patriarchal norms, low status of women and preference for male children are the primary reasons that threaten survival of female children in India. 

– 1 out of 4 girls is sexually abused before the age of 4.

– There are over 200 million illiterate women in India today.  

– In 1952, the Indian government was one of the first in the world to formulate a national family planning. In the 1965-2009 period, contraceptive usage has more than tripled (from 13% of married women in 1970 to 48% in 2009).  About three-fourths of these were using female sterilization, which is by far the most prevalent birth-control method.

– Around 2.4 million people are currently living with HIV. 

– On 7 March 2011, the Supreme Court legalized passive euthanasia by means of the withdrawal of life support to patients in a permanent vegetative state.   


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