Does Women Empowerment Effect Son Preference in India?

Amrita Gupta, International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS)

The child sex ratio in India is on a constant decline, even though the overall sex ratio in India is showing a slight improvement. The unbalanced child sex ratio is particularly prevalent in the states of Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Maharashtra. The study shows the relationship between women empowerment and son preference in selected states using National Family Health Survey-3 data. Arnold's method has been used to measure effect of sex preference on contraceptive use, for women empowerment three indices of women empowerment is used- health empowerment, mobility empowerment and financial empowerment. The result highlights a strong relationship between women empowerment and son preference. The contraceptive use varies with the number of sons and is inversely proportional to the desire for another child. The financial empowerment, health and mobility empowerment of women have an inverse effect on the son preference is irrespective of the sex composition of the family.

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 Presented in Session P4. Children and Youth/Population and Aging