Who Killed The Girl Child? Female Infanticide – A Disgrace On The Indian Democracy

Posted on December 14, 2010 in Society

By Gururaj Rao:

This year, even as India completed 63 years of independence, we are not in a position to call our country a superpower. It is not hard to believe this because in an independent country like ours exist horrific acts like merciless killing of the girl child. A lot of social evils which have disgraced our history are still very much prevalent. The matter of female infanticide is something that has deeply touched my heart and I feel it is my duty to raise my voice against it.

Female infanticide is the term used to describe the intentional killing of female just-born owing to people preferring male just-born. This has been going on for many years and has resulted in the deaths of a countless girl foetuses. People are of the opinion that the girl child is inferior to the male child and this is clearly reflected in the fact that in many parts of the world, women are still not given a status equivalent to that of men. This is no doubt the highest level of brutality and the most destructive kind of bias existing in our country and in many other countries.

A direct proof of these facts comes from UNICEF which in its recent report concluded that 50 million girls and women are missing from the population of India because of this bias. As a matter of fact, in most countries for every 100 male births, there are approximately 105 female births. In our country the 105 comes straight down to 93! This owes itself to 2000 odd abortions which happen illegally all over the country daily. Our people are of the opinion that only sons can provide income for the family. The system of dowry is still prevalent in some parts of the country. All these reasons have their roots in cultural beliefs of families and if female infanticide is to be stopped, then these beliefs have got to be challenged.

There could be a possibility of such a severe crisis that less number of females will lead to a sharp increase in sexual violence, according to the UN. A consequence of this will be a complete deterioration of social values. This practice of deselecting females is mainly due to factors like religion, economic factors and socio-cultural factors. These factors are explained below.

  1. The economic factor arises from the belief that sons will provide economic stability to the family by earning wages, providing farm labour for family business and support parents during old age.
  2. People tend to think that after marriage, a son brings a female addition to the family who provides help in household work as well as dowry payment brings some sort of an economic advantage.
  3. Coming to the socio-cultural factor, it is believed that having at least one male child is essential to continue the familial line and the respect of a family in the society is proportional to the number of male children in it.
  4. According to a certain Hindu tradition, only sons are permitted perform the funeral of their parents which assists in attainment of salvation for the deceased.

The government has initiated a lot of programmes to bring about a change in attitude of people and stop these kinds of social evils by introducing various laws, schemes and acts which favour education of the girl-child, equal rights and equal property share. In spite of all these steps taken, there is much left to be desired.

Are you voicing yourself against this?

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