Female foeticide

Female foeticide. “ Spend five hundred rupees now save five lakhs later “ -Slogan of ultrasound sex-determination clinics. Since the advent of ultrasound and detection technique for sex-determination 10 million female foetuses have been aborted in India, according to a study conducted recently in India, the first systematic study on female foeticide by an Indo-Canadian team. A shocking picture emerges-every year, about 50, 000 unborn girls-one in every 25-are aborted and as a result the number of girls has actually gone down drastically in India. According to the latest 2011 census, there is approximately 1, 21billion in India; there are 937 females per 1000 males. “ If the sex ratio of 1036 females per 1000 males observed in some states of Kerala in 1991 had prevailed in the whole country, the number of would be 455 million instead of the 407 million (in the 1991 census). Thus, there is a case of between 32 to 48 million missing females in the Indian society as of 1991 that needs to be explained. ” India tops the list as far as illegal abortion and female foeticide are concerned. Of the 15 million illegal abortions carried out in the world in 1997, India accounted for 4 million, 90% of which were intended to eliminate the girl child. It is a matter of grave concern that today in India we are discussing a thing like female foeticide. This term in itself envelopes myriads of meanings, it smacks of the fact that a) A girl is killed before she is born or made to die before 5 years. b) That sex of a foetus is determined to be that of a female; c) It acknowledges that there is technology privy to this heinous crime; d) There are doctors involved in first determining the sex of the baby, then carrying out abortion. e) There is crime involved in violating not one but many laws: the Pre-Conception Pre- Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Regulation and Prevention of Misuse) 1994 Act, the Section 307 IPC (of attempt to murder) and along with crime of abetment of murder etc. The Pre-Conception Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Regulation and Prevention of Misuse) Act, 28 September1994, banned sex determination tests all over the country. This Act carries a three-year imprisonment and Rs10, 000 fine for offenders. When we go into the root of this problem, we can understand that it is a social evil. The root cause lies in the development of the male dominated society. It all must have begun when the male must have realized he was physically stronger than the female, may be they fought tooth and nail at first, till the woman realized that it was no use trying to win over the man physically and eventually gave up. The man must have gloated that day in triumph at subjugating the female; he is still gloating! The beast in man resurfaced when he subjugated territory, he looted and possessed women; not satisfied with just that, he brought them over along with him and forcefully kept them and used them, to ‘ satisfy’ his needs, his sexual desires. Thus women were enslaved, becoming the spoil of war, a won-over property, as slaves, as a commodity, as a ‘ thing’ to be possessed and used at will. Slowly a woman was reduced to the status of a slave, a thing, a ‘ possession’, rather than a human being. On the other hand, in order to continue possessing his property, even after death, the need of an heir, a son, became necessary. In marriage the groom demanded that the bride’s father also provide for his daughter’s maintenance, since she was now a financial ‘ burden’ on him. And the system of dowry started. So, a girl became a potential financial drain on man and somewhere down the line it become a matter of prestige too, with more money and material goods asked in dowry. The girl was no longer desired. As the world celebrates 11th July as the World Population Day, we will helplessly observe girls ‘ missing’ from the world’s second most populated country, India. Therefore, it is high time people understand that women are no way inferior to men and consider them as equal. Discrimination, deprivation of their rights and atrocities against them must be called to a halt immediately. They should be allowed to live with dignity and confidence.