India's Sex Ratio Imbalance a Threat to Stability

By Valerie M. Hudson, on , Briefing

Many Western observers hope that India's growth as a global power will both balance China's rise and ensure that rise remains peaceful. Indeed, the U.S. has identified India as a crucial partner for the coming century, and as part of its effort to cultivate a strategic partnership with New Delhi, Washington has even pledged to help India develop its nuclear energy capabilities. But the continued disappearance of India's women and girls described in preliminary census figures released last week is putting the future of India's security partnership with the West at risk.

According to the census figures, the sex ratio of children ages 0-6 is now 914 girls per 1,000 boys, or 109.4 boys for every 100 girls. This sex ratio is the worst in the recorded history of the modern Indian state. In 1991, the 0-6 sex ratio was 934 girls to 1,000 boys, and when it further fell to 927 in the 2001 census, New Delhi launched a round of policy initiatives designed to turn the situation around. ...

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