End preference for sons, says ActionAid

New Delhi, Aug 23 (IANS) The Indian society has to end its bias in favour of the male child if it wants to act against rising sexual assaults on women, ActionAid said Friday.

Condemning the gang rape of a journalist in the heart of Mumbai as "shocking and outrageous", it said the incident showed "institutionalized neglect (for) making Indian cities and villages safer for women".

"It is no longer enough to appeal to the state alone to ensure a safe city for women and girls," the group said.

"We have to move further on from mere discussions on state apathy and lack of adequate policing and start addressing what is causing this disappearance of a safe society, even in a city that was once considered safest among all metros in India."

ActionAid said there was a need to halt the declining trend of child sex ratio caused by the society's preference for a male child.

"A campaign for gender equality which seeks to address the vicious cycle of violence from before birth."

According to the Indian census of 2011, there were only 914 girls to every 1,000 boys. ActionAid said it was the worst record since the country's independence "and one of the worst globally".

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