A birth certificate, obtained after birth registration, provides children with proof of legal identity and is essential to claim their rights. However, a study has shown that there is a gender gap in birth registration.
A study carried out by CREHPA in 2020 shows that of the total 1,162 children aged below 5 years, less than half (49 per cent) have registered birth at Civil Event Registration System (CERS) office.
According to the study, birth registration was found low in rural municipalities (45 per cent) as compared to Metropolitan cities (57 per cent). The study was carried out in Lalitpur and Rupandehi districts.
The study shows the vivid scenario of preferential treatment for sons in birth registration. Among the samples collected, 52.2 per cent of birth of boy child was registered earlier than 46.0 per cent of girl child.
In urban areas, 55 per cent and in rural areas 59 per cent of boy child aged below five years were registered. Similarly, 41 per cent birth of girl child in urban areas and 45 per cent in rural areas were registered.
The study found that the sex ratio of birth registrations was 130, which was highly skewed in favor of male children. Director of CREHPA, Ananda Tamang said that existence of gender difference in registered births is not only the reflection of the gender discrimination during pre-natal stage but also at the post-natal stage in terms of under-registration of female births.
As per the report, many parents were not able to registered childbirth due to COVID-19-induced prohibitory orders and lockdowns. Most of the parents were aware that they need birth registration for school admission, says the study.
In Nepal, all births need to be registered within 35 days of childbirth at the municipal ward where the parents have a permanent residence.
Birth registration has been made mandatory by the government for enrolment in schools and for child nutritional grants