Get Inspired, Be Empowered Forums Sexism & Patriarchy Imbalanced sex ratio affects women the most. Discuss. Reply To: Imbalanced sex ratio affects women the most. Discuss.

Mayuravarshini Mohana
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The Gender ratio in the world in 2019, according to UN World Population Prospect, is 101.69 males per 100 females. Yet, it has been estimated globally, that there are more females than males. The discrepancy is owed to India and China, the two most populated countries in the world, whose significantly higher male population has reined in the number of women in excess.

India’s imbalanced sex-ratio can be traced to factors such as sex-selection, son-preference, female foeticide and female infanticide. Girl children are considered burdensome due to existing patriarchal convictions where violence against females and cultural practises such as the dowry system discourage parents from begetting daughters. Besides, the social system of marriage where the bride moves into the he groom’s house, guarantees financial support and stability only to the son’s parents well into their old age. All these factors coalesce to promote the disproportionate increase in male children in India.

The decrease in females has largely been achieved through female infanticide. The advent of technology, in the later part of the 20th century, facilitated sex-determination and sex- selection. This allowed parents to either select the sex of the child or opt for abortion, drastically tipping the sex-ratio towards male population.

To put it plainly, we have more men than women. India has an average of 108.18 males per 100 females.Sex-ratio has been identified as an important determinant of social behaviour. An imbalance can strongly influence crime rates, significantly unsettling harmony and balance of justice in society. One of the immediate social consequences is an increased exercise of control on women, which in turn amplifies the incidence of domestic violence. The dearth of women increases male-male aggression and, thanks to patriarchy, controlling women is adopted as a more effective way of beating the competition.

Marriage Squeeze, which is an imbalance in the number of men or women available for marriage, is another inevitable consequence. The decrease in number of brides results in abduction and trafficking of women, who are then sold to families with prospective grooms.

Imbalance of sex ratio, irrespective of which gender outnumbers the other, ultimately affects women in the form of violence and increased oppression. If women were in greater numbers, the excess of brides in question will mean that not all women can marry. One only needs to remind oneself of the prevalent social stigma around unmarried women to discern their eventual plight. Moreover, the institution of marriage would become even more lucrative to the groom’s side, placing excessive economic strain on the bride’s family.

Either ways, women are on the receiving end of injustice. Government schemes such as Beti Bachao Beti Padhao and Thottil Kuzhandhai Thittam (Cradle Baby Scheme) taken at the national and state levels have helped tackle the issue. Yet, it takes lot more than government intervention to promote the welfare of women. It can only be resolved if gender justice becomes a collective and expansive social movement, actively led by the people.