Balancing human sex ratio

Correcting preference for male progeny
The family being the basic institution from where gender biases emanate, wide-ranging motivational campaigns should be launched to educate parents to value the worth of a girl child, so as to eliminate such biases. In view of the scientific fact that male chromosomes determine the sex of children, it is necessary to emphasize that the mother is not responsible for selection. Governments must, therefore, actively attempt to change the misconceptions regarding the responsibilities of the mother in determining the sex of the child.

Non-discriminatory legislation on succession and inheritance should be introduced. In the light of the dominant role religion plays in shaping the image of women in each society, efforts should be made to remove misconceptions in religious teachings which reinforce the unequal status of women.

Governments should mobilize all educational institutions and the media to change negative attitudes and values towards the female gender and project a positive image of women in general, and the girl-child in particular. Immediate measures should be taken by governments to introduce and implement compulsory primary education and free secondary education and to increase the access of girls to technical education. Affirmative action in this field should be adopted in favour of the promotion of girls education to achieve gender equity. Parents should be motivated to ensure the education of their daughters.

Considering the importance of promoting self-esteem as a prerequisite for their higher status of women in the family and the community, governments should take effective measures to ensure that women have access to and have control over economic resources, including land, credit, employment and other institutional facilities.

Measures must be taken to provide free health care and services to women and children (in particular, girls) and to promote health consciousness among women with emphasis on their own basic health needs. Governments should regularly conduct nutritional surveys, identify nutritional gender disparities and undertake special nutritional programmes in areas where malnutrition in various forms is manifested. Governments should also undertake nutritional education programmes to address, inter alia, the special nutritional needs of women at various stages of their life cycle.

As son preference is often associated with future security, governments should take measures to introduce a social security system especially for widows, women-headed families and the aged. Governments are urged to take measures to eliminate gender stereotyping in the educational system, including removing gender bias from the curricula and other teaching materials.

Governments should encourage by all means the activities of non-governmental organizations concerned with this problem. Women's organizations should mobilize all efforts to eradicate prejudicial and internalized values which project a diminished image of women. They should take action towards raising awareness among women about their potential and self-esteem, the lack of which is one of the factors for perpetuating discrimination. Public opinion makers, national institutions, religious leaders, political parties, trade unions, legislators, educators, medical practitioners and all other organizations should be actively involved in combatting all forms of discrimination against women and girls.

Gender disaggregated data on morbidity, mortality, education, health, employment and political participation should be collected regularly, analysed and utilized for the formulation of policy and programmes for girls and women.

Type Classification:
D: Detailed strategies
Related UN Sustainable Development Goals:
GOAL 1: No PovertyGOAL 5: Gender EqualityGOAL 16: Peace and Justice Strong Institutions