Tuesday, 12 June 2012

“I am a girl. Why would I support female foeticide?”

By Aarushi Sharma, Intern – Centre for Social Research
The question in itself is the answer, bringing to mind all those mothers who had willingly or unwillingly been forced to abort their own girl child. Is a girl’s life absolutely worthless? Does female foeticide convolute the understanding of a normative concept of ‘motherhood’? Female fetuses are rampantly sabotaged, detached and secretively abandoned. Often, they are casually flushed or disposed into the garbage dump, and if nothing works, are fed to dogs. Apologies for the ghastly visual description, this indeed is the truth. If ‘survival of the fittest’ is the custom, why not let nature decide? A society should not create any sort of gender prejudices or segregation. This is an oft reiterated incantation, though hardly implemented. Female foeticide is the crime against women and girl child in its worst debased form. Despite the fact that all of us are well aware, it is still practiced and self-righteously advocated.

An ICRW (International Center for Research on Women) study revealed that the preference for sons is strong in India, but not universal. The balance of sons and daughters is “desirable” for most women. It implies that few girls should have been desired! Remaining unwanted might be ‘managed’ conveniently through sex-selective abortions. It further states that wealth and economic development do not reduce son preference. It is a socio-cultural and religious construct. Mother’s education is the single most deciding factor in reducing son preference.

Are we not responsible enough to raise a girl child? Or is it the mindset which creates hindrance? It is time we start interrogating the established social conventions, isn’t it…

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