ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846
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How Do Girl Children Fare?

Declining Infant and Child Mortality in India

Declining infant and child mortality levels are sure indicators of development. But these may not evenly benefit male and female children especially if the girl children are unable to access the improved health infrastructure and nutritional support. The consequent gender gap in mortality is a good index of discrimination against the girl children. Analysis of time series data on infant and child mortality of major Indian states indicates a more rapid decline in male mortality rates as mortality levels decline. However, many states known for their gender bias do show evidence of the 'substitution effect', i e, more rapid decline in female infant and child mortality rates in the wake of increasing incidence of pre-natal selection. It is argued here, however, that a mere improvement in mortality rates among 'surviving' girl children does not mean an improvement in the quality of their survival.



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