Gender bias caused excess deaths of girls under 5: Study

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According to recent study of Lancet Global Health, there have been 2,39,000 excess deaths per year of girls under age of five in India due to gender bias. Excess mortality is difference between observed and expected mortality rates in both genders.

Key Findings of Study

The excess mortality accounted for about 2.4 million deaths in decade of study period 2005-2015. The additional deaths were found in 90% of districts in the country. 29 out of 35 States and Union Territories in the country contributed to this mortality.

The average level of excess mortality in girls aged 0-4 in study period of 2000-2005 was 18.5 per 1,000 live births, compared to expected mortality of girl children aged under 5 in areas of world without known gender discrimination.

Four largest states in northern India, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan, and Madhya Pradesh, accounted for two thirds of the total excess deaths of females under five. In Uttar Pradesh, excess female mortality was calculated at 30.5. In Bihar it was 28.5, in Rajasthan it was 25.4, and in Madhya Pradesh it was 22.1.

The worst affected areas in India were all rural, agricultural areas with lower levels of education, high population densities, low socio-economic development and high levels of fertility. Many deaths of females under five were partly due to unwanted child bearing and subsequent neglect.

Gender bias caused excess deaths of girls under 5: Study gender bias caused excess deaths of girls under 5 study