Improved sex ratios in Haryana and China hold the promise of a world that could slowly attain greater gender equality. In this article for Mint, Niranjan Rajadhyaksha examines the change in families' preferences for daughters.
"The Haryana government said in October that there has been a steady rise in the sex ratio at birth within the state—from only 833 girls per 1,000 boys in 2011 to 920 girls per 1,000 boys in 2019. This is a remarkable achievement that needs to be replicated in other states, though the results of the 2021 census will give a better idea of what is happening across the country. It is in this context that the recent work done in a small Chinese village called Lijia by an anthropologist from Case Western University is highly relevant.
Lihong Shi found that the preference for sons has been declining in this rural corner of China, despite a 1986 law that says that rural families with a first daughter are not bound by the nation’s law that every family can have only one child. In her recent book Choosing Daughters: Family Change In Rural China, Lihong provides five main reasons families in rural China are quite happy to have a single daughter rather than a single son."
Read the complete article here.