By Elizabeth Croll

This targeted and groundbreaking booklet seeks to re-focus gender debate onto the problem of daughter discrimination - a phenomenon nonetheless hidden and unacknowledged around the world.It asks the debatable query of why hundreds of thousands of women don't seem to be surviving to maturity in modern Asia. within the first significant learn to be had of this emotive and delicate factor, Elisabeth Croll investigates the level of discrimination opposed to girl kids in Asia and shifts the point of interest of realization firmly from son-preference to daughter-discrimination.This booklet brings jointly demographic information and anthropological box reviews to bare the a number of ways that women are deprived, from over the top baby mortality to the withholding of future health care and schooling at the foundation of gender. Focusing specially on China and India, the booklet unearths the dazzling accident of accelerating daughter discrimination with emerging financial improvement, declining fertility and the commonly stronger prestige of ladies in East and South Asia. crucial studying for all these drawn to gender in modern society.

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Extra resources for Endangered Daughters: Discrimination and Development in Asia

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There is evidence, however, to suggest that the numbers of children abandoned or adopted-out have risen and that girls are more likely than boys to be abandoned or put up for adoption. Although again it is difficult to find the statistics to document overall trends, there is some data to confirm reports and observations that the numbers of abandoned children have risen. In 1991 the Ministry of Civil Affairs registered 140,000 orphaned and abandoned children, with tens of thousands of abandoned children being cared for in over 5000 welfare homes.

Source: Gu Baochang and Li Yongping, ‘Sex ratio at birth and son preference in China’. Paper presented for the U N FPA Symposium on ‘Issues Related to Sex Preference for Children in the Rapidly Changing Demographic Dynamics in Asia’, held in Seoul, Korea, 21–24 November 1994. 4 shows that women with no sons tend to have extremely high sex ratios at birth whether they are resident in city, town or countryside or whether they have received little or more than 9-years’ schooling. 27 While high and rising sex ratios at birth provide hard evidence of shortfalls in the numbers of female infants, a most important question and one which has vexed demographers within and outside China is whether these girls are permanently missing from the statistics or temporarily hidden and perhaps under-enumerated.

What these family strategies imply is that, although women may be educated, enter the labour force and have a modicum of independence from fathers, husbands and sons, young daughters still cannot substitute for sons, and indeed are increasingly traded for sons, and this is so whether familial resources are plentiful or scarce and environments developed or less developed. In contemporary East and South Asia, then, gender planning has given rise to a new trade-off which is not that between size and composition, as in the past, but between sons and daughters with daughters increasingly and openly sacrificed for sons.

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