"Kill Her, She’s A Girl", Female Foeticide in India, A Forgotten Evil

Posted on October 10, 2009

Parul Sabherwal

‘Agle saal chhora’ is a famous phrase which was a part of an advertisement and all over the television just before the government imposed a ban against the same. But this phrase says a lot, not only about this issue but also about the thinking or the mindset of the people of our country.

‘chhora’ or a male child is what a number of parents want today, and a result of this is the day by day deteriorating sex ratio in India. Some of the worst gender ratios, that indicate the violation of women rights are seen in the south east asian countries especially in India and China.

No moral or ethical principle supports sex determination by means of ultrasound, amniocentesis and in vitro fertilisation. Though in the world society killing of women exist in various forms but Indian society shows some particularly brutal versions like sati, dowry deaths etc. female foeticide is an extreme step in this violence against women. Female foetuses are aborted after pre- natal sex determination, avoiding the birth of girls.

In many parts the sex ratio has dropped to less then 800:1000. It was in the state of Punjab, Harayana and delhi that the situation was worse because of the private foetal sex determination clinics were established and their practice became very popular in the 1970s. Though we come across many social evils in todays world but female foeticide is very common but still very less talked about. The youth of today has become a little aware
of such an evil because of many television shows that target this very topic.

The main reason for killing of girls as foetuses or infants is that they are considered as liability by their parents, some practices like dowry in india force the parents to have such a thinking. Boys on the other hand are considered to be the pillar of the family as they are the earning member and the support for their parents in their old age. Though today this is just a misconception but still people go by this thinking and kill their girl child even before she comes to this beautiful world.

The role of the three organisations namely media, NGOs and government is very important.

Media is considered to be the most important in spreading awareness about any social issue. Though media today, in the world of commercialisation does not give much importance to developmental issues but many television channels today are showing many daily soaps on this subject at the prime time slot. Not only electronic media, but even traditional form of media like tamasha, nautanki etc. are also being used to spread the message for the rural population. They try to create a positive image about girls so as to bring attitudinal changes amongst these people so that they give importance to a girl child.

On the other hand the government is taking a number of initiatives in forms of policies like laadli yojna, free and compulsory education for girl child, various scholarships etc. These provide a lot of support to the ‘not so privileged’ parents and encourages them to give birth to a girl child.

This problem is coming up as a very serious issue. It is important for the parents to understand the importance of a girl child as women today are no less but even more important then their male counterparts. The most recent example is our very own President Mrs. Pratibha Patil. Though it took us a long time of about 6.5 decades to give the big position to a woman but as it is said that better late then never, we have realised the power of women.

So now I would like to conclude by saying that it should be ‘agle saal chhori’ rather then praying for a boy always and this change can be brought about in the society by us only. I would leave you with some shocking facts that will tell u the seriousness of the situation.

* 1 out of every 3 girls does not live to see her 15th birthday
* 1/3rd of these deaths take place at birth.
* Every 6th girl child’s death is due to sex determination.
* 3 lakh more girls then boys die every year.
* By 2020 there would be more then 35 million young ‘surplus males’ in china and 25 million in India.

Now it’s totally up to you people to decide whether you want to see a change or not.


Rest, is up to you.