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45.8 million Women Missing in India Over the Past 50 Years: UNFPA Report

45 Million Missing Females Are From India Says UN ReportOn June 30, 2020, According to the report, “State of World Population 2020: Against my will – Defying the practices that harm women and girls and undermine equality” released by United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA),the world organisation’s sexual and reproductive health agency, India accounts for 45.8 million of the world’s 142.6 million “missing females” over the past 50 years & it has the highest number of missing women after China (72.3 million).

  • Missing females are women missing from the population at given dates due to the cumulative effect of postnatal and prenatal sex selection in the past.

Missing women more than doubled in the last 50 years:

As per the report, the number of missing women has more than doubled in the last 50 years – from 6.1 crores in 1970 to 14.26 crores by 2020.

Girls missing in India at birth:
        -The report states that between 2013 and 2017, 460,000 girls in India go missing at birth every year & the number of missing girls due to gender biased sex selection (GBSS) is about two-thirds and the female mortality after birth is about one-third.
          -Out of this, 90- 95 % of the estimated 1.2 million to 1.5 million missing female births are from China and India.
          -The report states that governments have taken steps to tackle the root cause of gender selection. India and Vietnam have launched campaigns to change people’s thinking.

Highest rate of excess female deaths:     

According to the analysis, the death rate of women in India is 13.5 per 1,000 women, the highest, which suggests that one in nine deaths under the age of 5 are responsible for gender selection.

Female genital mutilation (FGM):

As per the report, around 4.1 million girls will undergo female genital mutilation in 2020.
A total of 33,000 girls under the age of 18 years will be forced into marriages, with much older men.

Demographic imbalance:
– The preference for boys over girls has led to a large change in the ratio of women and men in some countries, and this demographic imbalance will certainly have an impact on marriage systems.
– Some studies suggested that in 2055 the number of prospective brides would be worst in India compared to potential brides. In India, the proportion of men who remain single till the age of 50 is projected to increase by 10 % after 2050.

Way Forward:

The report stressed the nations to investment an amount totalling $ 3.4 billion a year through 2030 would end GBSS & FGM practices and end the suffering of an estimated 84 million girls.

About United Nations Population Fund UNFPA:
Headquarters– New York,United States
Executive Director– Dr. Natalia Kanem