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Female Deselection and Gender Violence in India

Gender, Identity and Violence: Female Deselection in India by Rainuka Dagar, Routledge: New Delhi, 2014; pp 325, Rs 795.

Issues related to female foeticide, violence against women and girls (VAWG) and generally gender-based violence (GBV) are much discussed in various quarters including among political leaders and policy framers. However, no amount of discussion will be able to bring an end to such violence because both VAWG and GBV are extremely complex issues and deeply rooted in the complexities of societies needing close scrutiny and awareness. Rainuka Dagar has, through painstaking and elaborate research, presented a clear picture of these complexities in Gender, Identity and Violence: Female Deselection in India.

Dagar’s approach to VAWG and GBV is particularly significant because she has viewed these phenomena in the context of cultural preferences, influence of caste and religion, adverse sex ratios (SR), and the patriarchal nature of state institutions and the larger question of development policies vis-à-vis securing female life chances. Based on a diligent collection of field data she makes a global mapping of the imbalances in SR and child sex ratios (CSR) and these gender imbalances are analysed against the specific realities of Punjab and Haryana.

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