Apr 26, 2017

Assam's Child Policy May Skew Sex Ratio


This article first appeared in the Times of India. 


Assam's State Population Policy 2017, the draft of which states that people with more than two children will be ineligible for government jobs, is ripe for abuse as it can skew the sex ratio of the state, warn NGOs and political parties.

Oxfam India, an NGO, has warned the Assam government warned the Assam government against such coercive measures.“Coercive measures can backfire as we have seen in China where the sex ratio has skewed due to the one-child policy which the government had to ease up now,“ the NGO stated. “The Government of Assam needs to focus on enabling measures to improve women's education, healthcare and access to contraception. It is only these measures that have worked in any developing country to reduce population growth,“ said Oxfam India CEO Nisha Agrawal.

Political parties, including the Congress and All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF), have also joined in this chorus.

The draft policy also states that those having more than two children cannot be elected or nominated to panchayats and other local bodies. It also suggests the introduction of minimum educational qualifications for the contesting candidates.

“Research in states that have enacted similar polices like Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and Haryana have shown that disqualification of candidates on basis of the number of children, has led to the desertion of families, unsafe abortions, giving away of children and initiation of new marriages by male elected members. Women have been reported to doubly bear the brunt of this disqualification clause. It is also a violation of the basic right of every citizen to participate in the democratic process,“ Agrawal said.

Read the original story here




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