‘More women than men’ an overestimate, say experts; demand further evidence

News: The latest National Family Health Survey (NFHS) data shows that there are 1,020 women for every 1,000 men in India. But experts question the validity of data.

Must read: NFHS-5 and its findings – Explained, pointwise
What are the expert’s opinions?

Firstly, the International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS), an autonomous organisation of the health ministry which conducted the survey, clarified that any survey estimate of the sex ratio would be slightly higher compared to the actual figures because the data is collected at a household level.

Secondly, Lots of institutions, the homeless, army (personnel), and hostel establishments, which are male-dominated, are not covered by NFHS.

Thirdly, the NFHS does not have the framework to cover the institutional population.

Note: The next NFHS would be conducted in 2023 in the post-pandemic background. The technical advisory committee will decide what kind of changes need to be made to the survey to capture the impact of Covid.
Source: Business Standard

What will be the impact of NFHS data?

Researchers and policymakers look at its publications, so the data that women outnumber men could adversely affect the ongoing programmes fighting sex-selective abortions and neglect of women in education, health, and access to property rights.

Read more: With India’s demographic transition, come challenges
What should the government do?

The skewed sex ratio at birth shows a strong son preference and continued sex-selective practices in India. So, the government must invest in girls’ education, women’s empowerment and make efforts towards improving gender equality and increasing the value of the girl child.

NFHS-5 should have put a strong warning, at least in a footnote, that its sex ratio figures are unlikely to be valid for the total population.

Read more: A gender turnaround in UP spells hope for women all across India

Source: This post is based on the article “’More women than men’ an overestimate, say experts; demand further evidence” published in Business Standard on 4th December 2021.

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