An estimated 239,000 girls under the age of five die in India each year due to neglect linked to gender discrimination, a new study has found.
The figure, which amounts to 2.4 million deaths a decade, does not include pre-natal mortality rates. "Gender-based discrimination towards girls doesn't simply prevent them from being born, it may also precipitate the death of those who are born," wrote the study's co-researcher Christophe Guilmoto in the Lancet medical journal.
"Gender equity is not only about rights to education, employment or political representation. It is also about care, vaccination, and nutrition of girls, and ultimately survival," added Guilmoto.
The report is the first to examine the number of avoidable deaths among girls under five in India at a district level, showing specific geographic patterns of avoidable female mortality across India's 640 districts.
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