Hyderabad, India - There has been a rapid decline in the male-female child ratio in India during the last two decades due to increasing practice of sex selection and female foeticide, a study by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) said.
The ratio of girls per 1,000 boys in the age group 0-6 years declined from 945 in 1991 to 927 during 2001 while in some parts of the country there are less than 800 girls per 1000 boys, an UNFPA report presented at the fourth Asia Pacific conference on reproductive and sexual health which opened here on Monday.
The study covered four Asian countries India, China, Nepal and Vietnam where sex ratio imbalances were alarming.
If Asian continent's overall sex ratio was the same as elsewhere in the world, in 2005 Asia's population would have included almost 163 million more women and girls, the report titled "Sex Ratio Imbalance in Asia" said.
As a consequence of the skewed ratio due discrimination against girl child, the region is likely to witness increased gender-based violence, trafficking, discrimination and general vulnerability of women and girls, the study warned.
The use of technology to determine the sex of the foetus and easy access to it since the early 1980s has contributed to the rapid decline in the child sex ratio, it said.
The states like Pubjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Delhi and Gujarat and union territory of Chandigarh, have witnessed the ratio decline to less than 900 girls per 1000 boys.
As many as 70 districts in 16 states and union territories have recorded a more than 50 point decline in child sex ratio during the decade 1991-2001.