Where have all the girls gone? That’s what York Professor Sharada Srinivasan examines in her new book, Daughter Deficit: Sex Selection in Tamil Nadu, about the elimination of daughters in India through sex selection, female infanticide and neglect.
It is neither an aberration nor an idiosyncrasy. It accounts for a large proportion of missing girls in India, says Srinivasan, so much so that the proportion of boys to girls in the zero to six age group is 1,000 to 826.
Daughter Deficit (Women Unlimited) will launch Wednesday, March 7, from 2:30 to 4:30pm, in the Senior Common Room, 010 Vanier College, Keele campus. Everyone is welcome to attend and light refreshments will be provided.
The book explores the issue of girls who are denied the right to live or to be born in India, and it asks why and how such a situation has come about, says Srinivasan. In Tamil Nadu, the practice of eliminating daughters is more recent, and not as severe as in northern India – it is a state that sits between the northern and southern Indian states and has implemented programs to prevent the practice. And, although it may seem economic or socio-cultural at first glance, Srinivasan says it is a much deeper issue.
A professor of International Development Studies in the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies, Srinivasan examines the issue from the context of women’s lives, unraveling the causes of daughter elimination and the mechanisms which create and sustain an environment in which this is imaginable. Reflecting on the way ahead, the book concludes that even as public policies can and should play a decisive role in reversing the immediate outcomes in favour of daughters, an environment favourable to daughters will need fundamental changes in social norms, attitudes and policies of governments and non-governmental organizations.
The launch is sponsored by the Office of the Dean, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies, International Development Studies, the Harriet Tubman Institute for Research on the Global Migration of African Peoples, the Alliance Against Modern Slavery and the York University Bookstore.