By Sakhshi Khindri
India is gradually expanding as a nation with caressing to the new heights of development, but some vicious truths are still sweeping in the society and female foeticide is one of the most brutal evils to which a large bunch of people turn blind sights.
Female foeticide is the practice of aborting a foetus when a person finds out that the foetus is female after undergoing a sex determination test known as prenatal diagnostic tests. In simple terms, it is a deliberate attempt to kill newborn female children within one year of their birth.
Gender-based intolerance has constantly exemplified the awful face of humanity. Prejudice based on gender persists in all societies whether developed, developing or under-developed. Many couples in India worship different Gods and pray for a child, but only a male child as a male child is considered to be a blessing. So, even though women are worshipped in India, they still remain sufferers of inequality and injustice.India has demonstrated some unique and crucial versions like female foeticide and infanticide. There is an additional variety of violence that reveals the ritual of devaluing females in Indian society.
As the female foetuses are selectively aborted after prenatal sex determination avoiding the birth of girls, nearly 35 to 40 million girls are missing from the Indian population.
Despite the high-profile advances for women on the public scene, the rights of women and girls in some niches still lag. Girls continue to be abolished in large numbers through the practice of female foeticide as a direct symptom of preferential attitudes towards sons.
Female foeticide is unethical & illegal practice in India but highly prevalent. It is a practice by the families who are despairing for a baby boy. There are various other reasons for female foeticide like social, religion, financial, and emotional.. The misconceptions of Indian patriarchal society have a male child, particularly in the family has been another main cause for the female fortified. The inclination for a son continues to be a prevalent criterion in the traditional Indian household. Parents also give too much primacy to a boy child, groom him by giving all attention, all facilities thinking that they would take care of them when they get aged.
Other factors include increased gender disparity, a high sex ratio, dowry, lives lost, lack of development, and abuse and violence against women and children. Families do not often keep this spillover in mind and this results in sex selection and female foeticide, which hurts society as a whole. Female foeticide is a scourge in today’s India, especially in rural areas. The frequency of female foeticide in India is increasing day by day. This is evident from the declining sex ratio which has dropped to alarming levels, especially in the northern states according to Census 2001 reports.
The proliferation and abuse of advanced technologies coupled with social factors contributing to the low status of women such as dowry, concerns with family name and looking up to the son as a breadwinner has made the evil practice of female foeticide to become common in the middle and higher socioeconomic households, especially in the northern states, followed by some southern states in recent times. The bias against females in India is grounded in cultural, economic and religious roots
In a first ever global study on female infanticide by Asian Centre for Human Rights, a Delhi-based NGO dedicated to protection of human rights, it has been revealed that preference of son over daughter is a major reason for female infanticide in many countries around the world. Dowry system in South Asia, which makes daughters “an unaffordable economic burden”, also contributes to female infanticide.
Although infanticide has been criminalised in India, it remains an underreported crime due to the lack of reliable data. In 2010, the National Crime Records Bureau reported approximately 100 male and female infanticides, producing an official rate of less than one case of infanticide per million people.
The government on its part launched “Save the girl child campaign”. Various Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) are already taking an active lead in this area.
Weak law enforcement and simple access to ultrasonography fail to deter this practice. The administration needs to keep a gaze on all sex determination centres and abortion clinics, who left what purpose for what they are meant, instead to make a quick clam keep using the centres for illegal purposes in unethical ways.
It is evident by now that female foeticide is a crime and a significant social disaster that needs to be curbed at the individual as well as collective level.
The author has dedicated this article to Naysha and Zoya who are very spocial to her.