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Female Infanticide In India Essays

Essay about Infanticide

1949 Words8 Pages

Despite the clear prohibitions against child-murder by all major religions, female infanticide has been for centuries a prominent and socially acceptable event, notably in one of the most populous countries in this world, India. Even today, the extent of the problem is measured in alarming proportions all around the globe: “at least 60 million females in Asia are missing and feared dead, victims of nothing more than their sex. Worldwide, research suggests, the number of missing females may top 100 million.” The data is more astounding in India. According to the Census Report of 2001, for every 1000 males the number of females has decreased to 927 in 2001 from 945 in 1991 and continues to decrease. It is clear that the burdensome costs…show more content…

While India has tried many approaches to limiting family sizes, this democratically governed country has not enforced strict limits as China has. Family planning has proceeded chiefly through education and health programs, which are effective but which break down traditions slowly.

India is an extremely conservative and patriarchal society. In this society, women are considered inferior to men in all regards. In most families, the first child is usually welcomed- with joy if it a boy, with sad acceptance if it is a girl. Females are unwanted at birth, ill-treated as infants, and not educated in childhood. Be as it may, preference for the male child is mainly dominant as it is related to the age-old Hindu myth that states, “a person’s soul is liberated only when a son performs the last death rites”. (Dr. Madhumita Das, The Quest for a Male Child). In other words, the birth of a son assures the passage to heaven. The bias against females in India also relates to the fact that "Sons are called upon to provide the income; they are the ones who do most of the work in the fields. In this way, sons are looked to as a type of insurance. With this perspective, it becomes clearer that the high value given to males decreases the value given to females.” (Marina Porras, Female Infanticide and Foeticide.)

Since prehistoric times, the supply of food has been a constant check on human population growth. One way to control the lethal effects of starvation was to

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India is failing to prevent large-scale female infanticide and foeticide, according to a UN report. As a result, says the UN’s World Population Fund, India has one of the highest imbalances in the world between males and females. The Fund says that the low status of women in Indian society is mainly to blame, and criticises India for its lack of commitment to tackling gender inequality. Other Asian

countries, particularly China, have similar problems. Poverty, ignorance and culture combine to conspire against girls. How can this problem be tackled? What should countries like India and China be doing? Can the world do any more than criticise from the sidelines? What is the price of doing nothing? Female Infanticide is killing of a newborn girl child or of a matured foetus.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The practice of female infanticide is on a rise in most of the developing countries especially in China and India. The inhuman practice of female infanticide originates in the discripant attitude of the society where the women are considered an inferior gender and men are seen as the one to carry forward family name and the sole bread winner in the family. Moreover, due to the practice of marriage dowery, girls are considerd as burden by their families. All these factors lead to a culture based on gender inequality. Hundreds of innocent lives are brutally taken away every minute aroud the world. Some unborn, some who have just entered the world yet to discover the beauty of it. In India, women are put under intense pressure to give birth to sons.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Inspite of laws preventing sex determination tests and abortion based on the gender of the child, this practice is becoming popular even in the urban areas of India. As per a study, around 1.1 million girls are aborted in India every year. Whereas in China, due to &#8216;One Child Policy&#8217; the rate of abortion of female foetus is on a rise at an alarming rate. I, therefore pledge all of you to take a step forward and start a movement against Female infanticide. Spreading awareness and educating the masses about the issue is probably the best way to deal with this social evil as even though there are laws that prohibit this practice, preventing the practice is possible only when the attitude of the society is altered. Therefore, Join this movement, spread a word and become an active member of this cause. Spread the word and make sure that your voice is heard and these ideas are implemented.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">&#8211; Free education for women upto college and even post graduate education in government run institutions (Similar plans are being implemented in many states in India) &#8211; Indian and Chinese males should stand up to their own moms and dads when they start chirping about unwanted female children. &#8211; Come down hard on eve teasing and harassment activities in states that practice infanticide. The harassment arises out of the same attitude that causes infanticide down the line. A few &#8220;good boys&#8221; will end up behind bars, but it will be a better lesson than reminding them that their sisters and mothers are women too. That carrot approach does not seem to be working well anyway.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">&#8211; Create a feminine movement so that women feel a sisterhood towards each other and stand up for a woman in a neighboring house rather than turn a blind eye. &#8211; Refuse marriage of women into households or be very careful of families that have only male children or a very high percentage of males. Chances are high that they did you know what. Again, a few innocents will be in needless trouble, but sometimes poisonous and normal snakes look alike and it is better to get out a stick and protect your own daughters and sisters. &#8211; Do not provide any government incentives to families that have only males.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Again the bad snake good snake logic applies. But that is OK. Consider it payback for all the dead female children. &#8211; Provide extra incentives for families that have more than one girl child. This will help correct the gender balance in a few years. &#8211; If you have a female child, rub it in other peoples faces by educating her and providing her the same opportunities as a male child. This is the one thing that makes female killing folks look foolish and dumb. &#8211; Encourage marriage of males to educated women. A lot of mother-in-laws are scared of educated women as they cannot practice infanticide in those cases.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The Value of a Girl in the Modern World<br /> By Christina Hitrova Abstract<br /> Female infanticide, foeticide and prenatal sex-selection are some of the expressions of the lower “value” accorded to girls, as compared to boys, and are real practices in many countries around the world. Based on social and cultural traditions from the past, many societies today choose boys over girls, leading to a growing gap between the genders, both while growing up and at birth.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">This, in turn, may lead to future demographic instabilities in these states and may even cause the strengthening of criminal practices involving trafficking of women and prostitution .The lower value of girls to traditionally patriarchic societies and their access to new technology ,as well as governmental policies, such as the one-child policy in China, contribute to the growing problem. Although most of the research on female infanticide and foeticide is focused on China and India, the issue of sex-selection is not limited to those countries and exists even in the Western world. This provokes a debate about the value of a girl in the world, the effects of modern technology on our societies and the roads to countering these developments, looking to South Korea for possible lessons. Introduction</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Although not many members of the public are aware of what femicide is, it is a reality in many countries. The importance of the issue is illustrated by the fact that it was recognized by the Commission on the Status of Women in its agreed conclusions on the 15th of March 2013 and was the main topic in the Report of the UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences from 2012. Femicide refers to a practice, happening especially in Southeast Asia, China, India and Pakistan, in which, due to the different “value” of boys and girls, many girls are mistreated, abused, murdered and even aborted for the simple reason that they are girls.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The higher respect and social benefits for having a son, the greater expenditure on daughters with regard to their earning potential later on in life, possible dowries at marriage and taking care of parents at old age, as well as governmental policies such as the one-child policy in China lead to families making this hard decision and have a detrimental effect on the gender ratio in these countries. The combination of social traditions, public policies, and economic standards in some cases advanced technology contributes to today’s parents making decisions, which may have detrimental consequences for the societies involved.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Not only are practices discriminating between girls and boys at the level of the family unacceptable from a human rights perspective, but they may contribute to future instabilities in the countries, in light of the vast gender ratio differences. Additionally, femicide is not only an issue in Southeast Asia, but instances of it exist in countries all around the world. This makes the issue extremely important to examine, research and ultimately, solve.</p>