Gender Inequality in Child Care in India: Is It Narrowing Down?

Ravendra K. Sharma, Regional Medical Research Centre for Tribals (ICMR)
Manju Rani, Government Degree College, Chhaprauli
Sandeep Sharma, Indian Agriculture Research Institute

This paper aims to assess disparities in child care practices in India and its major states. Attempts are also made to investigate whether the discrimination has declined over the time or not. For this purpose data are taken from three rounds of National Family Health Surveys (NFHS) conducted in 1992-93, 1998-99 and 2005-06. The indicators of child-care considered in this study are: duration of breastfeeding, health care of sick children, nutritional status, immunization of children, mortality of children in different ages, and their educational attainment. Sopher’s (1974) methodology is used to compute a gender disparity index for each indicator, and finally a composite overall disparity index is computed. Results of the study illustrate that gender disparity is declining in some aspects of child care. For instance, differences in the proportion of male and female children who received full immunization increased between first and third round NFHS.

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Presented in Session 26: Gender and Child Health Outcomes in Developing Countries