Culture and Gender Discrimination: An Exploratory Study of “Nakusa” (Unwanted) Girls of Maharashtra, India

Shijith Vathukkal Parambath, Indian Institute of Technology, Hyderabad
T. V. Sekher, International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS)

This study is conducted mainly to examine the naming practices of the girls in the Satara district of Maharashtra, India by analyzing the factors responsible for girl child discrimination. Initially, a household survey was conducted in 2013 in the selected villages along with case studies. Several parents in Satara district have named their daughters as ‘Nakusa/Nakoshi’ means ‘unwanted’ in local Marathi language, in the hope and superstition that the next child will be a boy. The naming of girl as ‘Nakusa’ was reported among the Hindus and in rural areas only. ‘Nakusas’ were in between the ages of 4 to 48 years, indicating the naming practice was very old and still prevalent and most visible form of gender discrimination. Most of the ‘Nakusas’ were either third or fourth child of their parents. ‘Nakusa’ girls are experiencing various socio-psychological problems due to their peculiar name, including humiliation in schools and community.

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 Presented in Session P8. Economy, Labor Force, Education, and Inequality/Gender, Race and Ethnicity