It will be interesting to see whether same findings hold true in Indian context. In India daughters have unfortunately been generally seen as a liability and sons as secured investments. In fact in 2010 in an unusual disclosure, a sitting judge of the Supreme Courthad reportedly listed her unmarried daughters as 'liabilities'.
The dowry system still widely prevalent means that fathers of daughters have to save a hefty sum to marry-off their daughters. This is true even when the daughters are educated. This in a way doubles the cost for the fathers of daughters. On the other hand the fathers of sons are beneficiaries of the same system and look at recovering the expenses on their son’s upbringing and education at the time of their marriage. Dowry related deaths of brides are not uncommon in India. In an eventuality where father of the daughter is unable to pay hefty sum of dowry, burning of bride is not uncommon at all. A shocking recent statistics shows that in India one bride is burnt in India every hour!!!
In addition to this the prevalent class system has traditionally placed the son’s father on a 'pedestal' and daughter’s father on the 'platform'. Even in marriages, the boy’s side calls the shots and the father of the boy almost makes it appear that they are doing a favour to the girl’s father and their family by marrying his son with their daughter.
Even today in many parts of India the birth of boy child is seen as a blessing and is celebrated, whereas the birth of daughter is mourned. The utter neglect of girls in this country and large number of cases of female infanticide and sex-selective abortions are evidence to the same. A BBC report states that –“India's 2011 census shows a serious decline in the number of girls under the age of seven - activists fear eight million female foetuses may have been aborted in the past decade.”
This may not be true for 100 per cent of the Indian households, but a large majority ofIndian parents still crave for boys. It is not unlikely to find families with 4-5 elder daughters and a young son, since parents kept on ‘trying’ till they had a boy.
What is amazing is that such trends are true across economic segments and urban-rural areas, and higher incomes also do not make much of a difference in mindsets. A recent research report has indicated that as income and literacy levels have risen in Indian households, so have sex-selective abortions.
India’s record on gender equality is very poor. When India's Human Development Index is adjusted for gender inequality, it becomes south Asia's worst performing country after Afghanistan, new numbers in the UNDP's Human Development Report 2013 show. The UNDP report ranks India 136th out of 186 countries, five ranks below post-war Iraq, on the HDI. Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh, which are poorer than India and have lower HDIs, all do comparatively better than India when it comes to gender equality.
In contrast, Denmark boasts of an impressive record on genderequality, ranking 7th in the 2008 Global Gender Gap Report conducted by the World Economic Forum. Denmark has a separate Minister and Department for Gender Equality that is responsible for promoting and coordinating public policy on gender equality. The Danish Constitutional Act and the acts on gender equality are binding on both the public and the private sectors to ensure that gender equality is respected. The four main acts focusing on gender equality in Denmark are - Act on Equal Pay (2006, first introduced in 1973); Equal Treatment Act (2006); Act on Gender Equality (2002)); Act on Equal Treatment of Women and Men in the Occupational Social Security Schemes (1998).
In general girls are better educated than boys in Denmark: the 2006 rates for tertiary graduation show that 53 % of the girls get a higher education compared to 37 % of the boys (OECD, 2008). Danish women also have one of the highest employment rates among women in Europe and OECD countries at 70.8% per cent.
In such a scenario, can similar results be expected in India as have been found in Denmark?
Can a Daughter make an Indian Male CEO more generous? The jury is still out on this issue.