RIGHTS ISSUES AND WOMEN EMPOWERMENT IN INDIA – FEMALE FOETICIDE AND INFANTICIDE

Female Foeticide and Infanticide

Last year, the Indian government said the country had nearly 3 million girls less (‘missing’) in 2011 (75.84 million) than their count in 2001 (78.83 million).

In a country, facing the acute crisis of a skewed sex ratio, female foeticide and female infanticide continue shamelessly.

The situation has worsened to this level that there are not enough girls to wed the boys of this patriarchal system and women are being trafficked to continue families in culturally backward states like Haryana or Rajasthan where women are treated like mere objects, tools to satisfy carnal pleasures, to carry out house chores and to give birth to the sons (daughters have no place).

A write-up of UNICEF India website says: Eligible Jat boys from Haryana travel 3,000 km across the country to find themselves a bride. With increasingly fewer girls in Haryana, they are seeking brides from as far away as Kerala as the only way to change their single status.

The write-up further says: Decades of sex determination tests and female foeticide that has acquired genocide proportions are finally catching up with states in India.

And it is not just about female foeticide or aborting the female foetus. It is also largely about female infanticide, killing the girl child before one year of age.

Naturally, differently laws have been put in place to prevent foetal sex identification, foeticide and female infanticide.

And as expected, these laws have failed, naturally, as is with laws on many other intrinsic socially mandated patriarchal gender crimes like dowry (a major reason for female foeticide and infanticide in India) or witch-hunting.

Not just foeticide or infanticide figures, there is a whole bunch of statistically incriminating data set that tells us how insanely criminal we have been to the other half of the human population.

2011 Census sex ratio is 940, i.e., 940 girls per 1000 boys. Though it is a slight improvement from 933 of 2001, the child sex ratio saw a decline from 1991 to 2011, from 945 to 914.

Female foeticide and infanticide – 10 million female foeticides – one million infanticides of every 12 million baby born – a media report says.

The girl child population was around 16 per cent of the female population in 2001 that declined to 12.9 per cent by the Census 2011.

A BBC report quoting the medical journal the Lancet said in 2006: More than 10m female births in India may have been lost to abortion and sex selection in the past 20 years, according to medical research. Researchers in India and Canada for the Lancet journal said prenatal selection and selective abortion was causing the loss of 500,000 girls a year.

And the problem is not limited only to the culturally backward states like Haryana or Rajasthan or culturally-skewed states like Delhi, Gujarat, Maharashtra or Punjab, it has become a pan-India pandemic, a social menace that is corroding the fabric of the Indian social formation.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

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