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Politics of Reproduction: A Post-Colonial Feminist Analysis of the 'Missing Girl' Phenomenon in India

Fernandes, Rini LU (2013) SIMV21 20131
Graduate School
Abstract
Abstract:
The controversial issue of ‘missing girls’ has been a cause of concern since the time of the British rule in India. Most research studies pointed towards a demographic pattern of its occurrence, the Northwestern plains of India saw an alarming scarcity of girl children. Since then many studies focused at examining the economic and socio-cultural factors motivating the missing girl phenomenon. However, the 2001 Census of India reoriented the attention of policy makers and researchers at the declining child sex ratios in India especially in the age group of (0-6) years. This census data also highlighted the ineffectiveness of the measures taken by the government of India. The paper therefore seeks to examine the factors other than... (More)
Abstract:
The controversial issue of ‘missing girls’ has been a cause of concern since the time of the British rule in India. Most research studies pointed towards a demographic pattern of its occurrence, the Northwestern plains of India saw an alarming scarcity of girl children. Since then many studies focused at examining the economic and socio-cultural factors motivating the missing girl phenomenon. However, the 2001 Census of India reoriented the attention of policy makers and researchers at the declining child sex ratios in India especially in the age group of (0-6) years. This census data also highlighted the ineffectiveness of the measures taken by the government of India. The paper therefore seeks to examine the factors other than economic and socio-cultural which have motivated sex-selective abortions leading to a greater number of missing girls. It traces the ‘politics of reproduction’ by critically analysing institutional dynamics through the role of the post colonial state and its population policies, modernization process and reproductive technologies. The analysis is done by employing a post-colonial feminist reading of the texts. The subsequent section deals with the interpretation of the contents of Pre Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PNDT) Act, 1994 which was implemented to prevent the misuse of reproductive technologies for the purpose of sex-selective abortions. The analysis shows how this legal intervention has proved ineffective in preventing sex-selective abortions from being carried out. The conclusion of the analysis points at the institutional dynamics such as the limitations of the legal measures, misuse of reproductive technologies, forces of modernization and international development discourse and the state’s population policies which have in totality aggravated the ‘missing girl’ phenomenon in India. Thus without taking these above factors into consideration, it is difficult for any legal intervention or ban to work independently. Attitudinal changes and society’s acknowledgement of women’s socio-cultural, political and economic contribution is required to reverse this trend. (Less)
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author
Fernandes, Rini LU
supervisor
organization
course
SIMV21 20131
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
missing girls, politics of reproduction, sex-selective abortion, modernity, PNDT Act 1994, New Reproductive Technologies (NRTs), population policy discourse, post-colonial feminism
language
English
id
3808724
date added to LUP
2013-06-19 08:08:04
date last changed
2013-06-19 08:08:04
@misc{3808724,
  abstract     = {Abstract:
The controversial issue of ‘missing girls’ has been a cause of concern since the time of the British rule in India. Most research studies pointed towards a demographic pattern of its occurrence, the Northwestern plains of India saw an alarming scarcity of girl children. Since then many studies focused at examining the economic and socio-cultural factors motivating the missing girl phenomenon. However, the 2001 Census of India reoriented the attention of policy makers and researchers at the declining child sex ratios in India especially in the age group of (0-6) years. This census data also highlighted the ineffectiveness of the measures taken by the government of India. The paper therefore seeks to examine the factors other than economic and socio-cultural which have motivated sex-selective abortions leading to a greater number of missing girls. It traces the ‘politics of reproduction’ by critically analysing institutional dynamics through the role of the post colonial state and its population policies, modernization process and reproductive technologies. The analysis is done by employing a post-colonial feminist reading of the texts. The subsequent section deals with the interpretation of the contents of Pre Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PNDT) Act, 1994 which was implemented to prevent the misuse of reproductive technologies for the purpose of sex-selective abortions. The analysis shows how this legal intervention has proved ineffective in preventing sex-selective abortions from being carried out. The conclusion of the analysis points at the institutional dynamics such as the limitations of the legal measures, misuse of reproductive technologies, forces of modernization and international development discourse and the state’s population policies which have in totality aggravated the ‘missing girl’ phenomenon in India. Thus without taking these above factors into consideration, it is difficult for any legal intervention or ban to work independently. Attitudinal changes and society’s acknowledgement of women’s socio-cultural, political and economic contribution is required to reverse this trend.},
  author       = {Fernandes, Rini},
  keyword      = {missing girls,politics of reproduction,sex-selective abortion,modernity,PNDT Act 1994,New Reproductive Technologies (NRTs),population policy discourse,post-colonial feminism},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Politics of Reproduction: A Post-Colonial Feminist Analysis of the 'Missing Girl' Phenomenon in India},
  year         = {2013},
}