The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi on 4 October has lauded the collective commitments of 130 crore Indians to strengthen Nari Shakti in India. Quoting a tweet by Union Minister of Women and Child Development, Smt Smriti Irani on India registering decline in female infant mortality rate, the Prime Minister tweeted; “This is a great sign, reflective of the collective commitment of 130 crore Indians to strengthen our Nari Shakti.”
Recently released UN’s report on IMR India saw its male and female infant mortality rate (IMR) equalise in 2020. In 16 states, IMR remained higher for female babies than males, but the gap had reduced since 2011. Infant mortality rate is the number of infant deaths for every 1,000 live births.
In rural India, though the gap had reduced, female IMR remained marginally higher than male IMR. However, in urban India, where the gap between male and female IMR was higher in 2011, the female IMR fell below that of males by 2020. UN data for 2020 shows that among countries where the IMR wa above 20, India was the only one where male and female IMR were almost the same. In every other case, male IMR was higher than female IMR by 2 points. The only other countries where the gap between male and female IMRs was one or less were those where infant mortality has been reduced to single-digit levels. Union Minister for Women and Child development Smt. Smriti Irani commenting on the report said,India registers decline in female infant mortality rate. Efforts towards #BetiBachaoBetiPadhao through an integrated approach encompassing advocacy, healthcare & education is breaking the gender bias & resulting in improved numbers across all parameters.