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Asia Selective abortion leaves India with 63 million women ‘missing’

WIDESPREAD selective abortion of girls has left India “missing” 63 million women, government officials said yesterday.

India’s annual economic survey reported that, in addition to outright femicide, boys were often better fed and received better healthcare.

Officials also said that “families where a son is born are more likely to stop having children than families where a girl is born.”

In India, there are roughly 94 women for every 100 men. In contrast, there are 104 women for every 100 men across European Union states.

The Indian Radiological and Imaging Association vowed yesterday to “fight to stop female feticide” and correct the sex imbalance.

It said that any of its members “indulging in wrong practice will be removed.”

By analysing birth rates and the sex of last-born children, the government report also estimated that more than 21 million Indian girls are not wanted by their families.

Studies have frequently shown that men in India receive better education than women and many women report facing intense pressure to have sons.

Despite 50-year-old anti-dowry laws, brides’ families are still commonly forced to pay large sums to the groom and his family.

Many women are murdered or driven to suicide by their husbands and in-laws in an attempt to extort an increased dowry. There were nearly 8,400 such killings recorded in 2010.

The most recent national crime figures show violence against women and girls continues to rise.

• An eight-month-old girl is in critical condition in a Delhi hospital after being raped by her 28-year-old cousin.

Delhi Commission for Women head Swati Maliwal said the injuries the man inflicted on her were “horrific.” The girl had to undergo a three-hour operation.

Police recorded 19,765 cases of child rape in 2016. More than half of children who took part in a government survey reported some form of sexual abuse.

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