Missing Women in Indian Districts: an Entitlements Approach
The ratio of women to men in India reveals excess female mortality by comparison with developed countries; this excess is socially not naturally determined. Juvenile sex ratios combine excess male infant mortality in poor health environments with excess female child mortality due to discrimination. Variations in sex ratios have been explained in terms of kinship practices and female labour participation. However, these variables are interrelated with each other and with other demographic and economic variables, and are spatially confounded. We present an entitlements approach to the analysis of juvenile sex ratios, disaggregated by social group and within the juvenile age range. The spatial lag model is preferred to the spatial error model on empirical grounds. Low female labour participation is an important determinant of anti-female child bias for all kinship systems of the country, but in Districts characterised by the Indo-Aryan kinship and culture the effect of female labour participation is much more significant.
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