Institute for Social and Economic Change



Sept. 28-29, 2005, ISEC, Bangalore





The Institute for Social and Economic Change (ISEC), Bangalore, in collaboration with the Department of Economic History, Lund University (Sweden) is organizing a two-day workshop on the implications of declining femininity in modern India. The Swedish Research Council is supporting this workshop.

The 2001 Census has brought to focus the declining child sex-ratio (among children below seven years) in many parts of India, indicating the extent of gender discrimination prevalent in both rural and urban areas. It is important to examine persistent discrimination against female children despite significant improvement in female literacy, increasing participation of women in economic and political activities, etc. How far has the prevalence of " son preference" in India resulted in "daughter discrimination" in a society experiencing modernization? Whether the socio-economic changes and the forces of globalization have influenced our attitude towards children, particularly girls? How far have the fertility transition and new reproductive strategies aided by advancement in medical technology influenced the gender composition of modern family?

The recent discourses in India have changed the focus from " missing women" to " missing girls", highlighting the precarious situation of female children before birth (their chances of being born at all), at birth and during childhood. In this context, it is necessary to understand the nexus of economic, social and cultural factors that underlie daughter discrimination. What are the social and economic implications for the declining femininity and consequent policy implications?

With these issues in mind, research papers addressing the imbalance in sex ratio and its implications for India are invited for presentation in the proposed workshop. Particularly welcome are field-based qualitative studies, which attempt to explore the relationship between gender discrimination and the changing socio-economic and demographic scenario. The participation of academics, NGOs, governmental agencies and gender experts will provide an opportunity to discuss the vulnerability of female child in modern India.

Those who wish to contribute a paper are requested to provide an abstract of 300 words with a brief CV (electronically) to the workshop coordinators before 1st Aug.2005. Authors of the selected papers will be notified by 15th August 2005 and they are required to submit the full paper by 15th Sept. 2005.The organizers will meet the travel cost within India and provide local hospitality to the authors of the selected papers. Prof. Neelambar Hatti of Lund University ( and Dr. T.V.Sekher of ISEC ( are the Co-ordinators of the workshop.


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