F for Female Foeticide
In a country where Maa Durga and Maa Saraswati are worshiped and where brave soldiers sacrifice their lives protecting their (mother)land, it’s hard to understand the rationale behind female foeticide. Yes, the plain blunt answer is Patriarchy but my question is why? Why do we forget that if there was no woman, there would be no womb? Killing a girl even before she was born and killing her just because she was a girl is inhuman and defeats the very basis of our existence.
Though female foeticide is rampant in other parts of the world, I am really worried about India. Female foetuses have been found dumped in rivers wrapped in black polythene bags and in a horrible incident reported in 2011 in Maharashtra, she was also fed to dogs. We are talking of a majority section of society that thinks a son is an asset and a daughter is a liability. He is an asset because the male child will grow up to take care of the parents, feed them and look after them when they age. She is a liability because she will have to be married and as soon as she is born, parents will have to start saving for dowry. The population, the poverty, the need to feed the family and on top of it dowry. Adding to that, a male child will take forward the lineage. So, what if the liability wasn’t even born?
Science is so amazing and now there is ultrasound that can help determine sex of a 12-14 weeks old foetus with close to 100% accuracy. While my friends in US, happily announce it’s a girl months before she is born, the laws in India prohibit sex determination and this law was brought into existence to prevent female foeticide. Was it helpful? No, not at all. Illegal sex determination and selective abortion is a 1000 crore industry in India and you know it’s all about connecting the dots.
Here is the thing. We don’t need just stringent laws. We also need laws against corruption, malpractice and of course a big change in mindset. We need education. We need to understand that investing for girl child has to be for her education and not for her marriage. When she grows up, she can buy gold for herself but put her in a better school and encourage her to be independent. And remember that we don’t need to just educate the uneducated but also those who are educated. We need change. We need us.
It’s hard for me to refer to a female foetus as “it” and hence I’m using the pronoun “she”. If some details are too gory for you to read, it is even hard for me to choose words and write all this on a blog that I call happinessandfood.
I am blogging from A to Z during April (#47o on the list) and the theme I have chosen is set on women. Some of the posts will be here for you to know and some will be to reflect and accept. Share your thoughts and let me know how things are going. There is always a room for improvement.